My latest: Occupy Nation:  The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street, forthcoming as an e-book from HarperCollins, May 1, 2012: Available as paperback book on August 21, 2012.










“Todd Gitlin — historian, sociologist and veteran activist — is the ideal person to report on the Occupy Movement. Whether you watched from the sidelines or slept in a park, Occupy Nation is full of surprises and a joy to read.”

– Barbara Ehrenreich

“Imagine a veteran of the storming of the Bastille in 1789 writing, years later, about the revolutions of 1848. Todd Gitlin’s book is not only a vivid, first-person report on the most hopeful American social movement in several decades, it’s written by someone who himself took part in the upheavals of the 1960s. He tells the Occupy story with both the knowledge of a scholar and the passion of an activist.”

– Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars

“Todd Gitlin captures the spirit of the Occupations as they were and may be again. He writes in solidarity with the protestors — but also with a keen sense of the difficulties they face (and sometimes make for themselves).”

– Michael Walzer, co-editor, Dissent

“In this much needed book, Todd Gitlin, a veteran of the 1960s — an earlier time of youthful radicalism — and an astute commentator on social movements offers a compelling portrait of the Occupy movement. It is less a chronological history than a series of vignettes that capture the spirit of the people involved, the crisis that gave Occupy birth, and the possibility of genuine change it represents.”

– Eric Foner, author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery


Published in 2011:











“Fascinating, strong, beautifully written, and deeply moving.”–Breyten Breytenbach





































































Published by Counterpoint, Feb. 8, 2011

Order at independent Powell’s here or Amazon here.

“Fascinating, strong, beautifully written, and deeply moving.”–Breyten Breytenbach


Published September 14, 2010

For more information, interviews, reviews, etc., see The Chosen Peoples website.

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“Truly bold…. a truly thought-provoking argument that deserves serious attention.” (Andrei Markovits, The Huffington Post)

“[Gitlin and Leibvoitz] shed light on the strong messianic impulses in the history of both ‘chosen’ nations.” (Chuck Leddy, Christian Science Monitor)

“Brisk and entertaining…. a valuable addition to the public discussion of religion and politics (or religion in politics)” (Gordon Haber, The Forward)

“A nuanced, carefully considered comparison of the deep-seated beliefs that pervade both groups…. The book offers lively, approachable scholarship for the lay reader and student of history alike, featuring sharply rendered arguments at a pace that rewards sustained attention without oversimplifying.” (Kirkus)

“…an often inspired, probing, and insightful exploration.”–Kenneth Waltzer, Israel Studies Review

Todd Gitlin of Columbia Un­iversity and Liel Leibovitz of New York University have written a thoughtful critical volume on the roots and costs of chosenness as it pertains to historical and contemporary Israel and the United States. Their approach is nonpolemical, but their tone implies an important critique of the ideology of chosenness, a summons to do better (that is, repent) and a recognition that supposed chosenness is as much an ordeal as it is a gift. The authors are fully aware of the prerational force of entitlement and privilege that is exercised in the ideology of chosenness.” –Walter Brueggemann, The Christian Century


“This is one of the finest books I have ever read about the ideas which drive modern nations.    Eloquent and erudite, Gitlin and Leibovitz reveal the promise and the pitfalls of a mass temptation neither Americans nor Israelis have been able to resist. The Chosen Peoples is a necessary work for our perilous era.”

–Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan

“Americans’ deep sense of connection to Old Testament prophecy and providence dates back to the Puritans. In their provocative new book, Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz explore that connection anew for modern times—and offer food for thought and rich argument about the historical as well as political experiences of both Israel and the United States.”

–Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy

“A perceptive comparison between Israel and the United States as Chosen Peoples of God. The authors synthesize history, Bible study, and current events with their own deeply moral analysis. They explore the analogy between the Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands and the white American settlers on Native American lands in ways profoundly enlightening.”

–Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

“The Chosen Peoples invites readers to take with great seriousness and respect the idea that both Israel and the United States bear the burden of imagining themselves as chosen by God. In an extraordinarily sensitive exploration of the concept of being chosen, Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz bring a fresh perspective to the history of Israel and America and to the complex linkages between them.”

–Joyce Appleby, professor emerita of history, UCLA, author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

“Few alliances on the world stage are as complex and important as the Israeli-United States special relationship. Yet how best to understand it? In a book that is as refreshing as it is provocative, and timely too, The Chosen Peoples explores the fascinating consequences of both nations seeing themselves as chosen by God. Bravo to Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz for their important contribution.”

–Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval

“The Chosen Peoples is a probing account of two powerful myths that have brought us to the brink of disaster, but that may still provide a fresh way forward. The authors’ case for more humane ideas of national destiny is lucid, compelling, and deeply necessary. No one who cares about the future of America–or Israel–can afford to ignore this timely and important book.”

–Jackson Lears, Rutgers University, author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920


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Read the introduction (PDF)

Praise for The Bulldozer and the Big Tent:

“No one is better than Todd Gitlin at describing the crucial dynamic through which movements gain or lose political power. Justly celebrated for his seminal work on such dynamics during the 1960s, Gitlin now he explains everything that’s happened since, with passion and wisdom–and happily, because of Bushism’s collapse, legitimate optimism about the future.” –Michael Tomasky, editor, Guardian America

“An impassioned yet realistic plea for Democrats and liberals to become more serious about politics. They would do well to follow his advice.” –Alan Wolfe, Director, Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, Boston College

“A brilliant and indispensable book. Gitlin convincingly urges liberals to take seriously the greater difficulty the Democrats have forging cohesion among identity based groups over the Republicans persuading the less diverse Republican base to bury disagreements in the drive for victory. Gitlin argues, Democrats will have to bite the bullet and unite under a big tent. A hard lesson for ardent newcomers to the movement to swallow, Gitlin is dead right.” –Thomas B. Edsall, Special Correspondent, The New Republic

“This is an indispensable book by one of our most gifted public intellectuals. Todd Gitlin explains–with splendid scholarship, reporting, and wit–how the Bush machine debased our political life and how progressives, in all their variety, are struggling to build a new majority. It is the best guide we have to America’s recent past and its possible future.” –Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and professor of history, Georgetown University


intellectualsPraise for The Intellectuals and the Flag
Now in Paperback: Order From Amazon

“How might one reconcile patriotism with dissent? Love of country with the critical spirit? Grounded commitment with the Great Refusal? Have the events of September 11 changed the nature of our response? These are just some of the topical themes that Todd Gitlin addresses in his luminous new study, The Intellectuals and the Flag. Here is Gitlin at his best: lucid, insightful, thought-provoking, and broad-minded. A latter-day Tom Paine, Gitlin is quite simply the most informed voice writing in America today about the volatile interface between politics and culture.” — Richard Wolin, City University of New York, author of The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism

“Of all the voices to be heard since 9/11, Todd Gitlin’s is among the most welcome. While others—on left and right—have lost their heads, Gitlin has used the occasion to rethink and reassert where he stands on questions of power, political authority, civic engagement, patriotism, and much else. This is a bracing and admirable book.” — Mark Lilla, University of Chicago, author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics

“Todd Gitlin has joined Irving Howe, Michael Walzer, Michael Harrington, and Christopher Lasch in the ranks of our nation’s most brilliant, important, and perceptive social critics. The Intellectuals and the Flag will confirm that reputation. Gitlin is fearless: he challenges the status quo and his own side. He insists that the Left has a moral obligation to stop marginalizing itself and to change the country by appealing to our traditions of democracy, equality and community. We need critics who are patriots—and patriots who are critics. Gitlin shows that patriotism need not be, and should not be, the last refuge of scoundrels.” —E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Why Americans Hate Politics and Stand Up Fight Back


Gitlin argues for a renewed sense of patriotism based on the ideals of sacrifice, tough-minded criticism, and a willingness to look anew at the global role of the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. Merely criticizing and resisting the Bush administration will not do—the left must also imagine and propose an America reformed.

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Also by Todd Gitlin: (Click on the covers to purchase the book.)

Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives Letters to a Young Activist Inside Primetime The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage The Whole World is Watching
Other books by Todd Gitlin 

The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars
Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author)
Sacrifice (novel)
The Murder of Albert Einstein (novel)
Busy Being Born (poetry)

Books Edited by Todd Gitlin:

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