Motorcycles and Mississippi: Lost in Argentina, Stolen in the USA

Review of Dancing with Dynamite by John Maclean in Industrial Worker, newspaper of the IWW

Review of Dancing with Dynamite by John Maclean in Industrial Worker, newspaper of the IWW

Dancing with Dynamite has been moving around the world in unexpected ways. Someone in Mexico is writing a comic book based in Bolivia, and is using Dancing with Dynamite as a part of his research. A friend was motorcycling across northern Argentina recently and while he was riding, one of the bags fell off the bike – it was the bag carrying Dancing with Dynamite! So now the book is somewhere in the Argentine countryside…

I continue selling copies of the book to people out of my backpack. The other day I sold a copy right inside of a Borders bookstore, and later that same day exchanged the book with someone else for some delicious wild mushrooms he had foraged.

The book is also being used in a lot of college classrooms across the US. (One university library even lists it as “missing.” I wonder where that stolen copy is.)  I recently received a phone call from a classroom of students at the University of Southern Mississippi. The students in the class had read Dancing with Dynamite very closely, and had a bunch of great questions and comments regarding what activists in the US might learn from South American social movements.

Dancing with Dynamite is also traveling around the internets. There’s bunch of people who have reviewed the book, or plan to read it, on GoodReads.com. One reviewer there says he “dug it.”

A few new reviews have recently come out. Reviewer Michael Fox writes in Truthout that the book is “a roadmap, a call to action to break the simplistic dualities imposed by society and place our destinies into our own hands.” Other new reviews have appeared in The International Socialist Review and the IWW’s Industrial Worker.

Ad for Dancing with Dynamite in the back cover of Z Magazine

Ad for Dancing with Dynamite in the back cover of Z Magazine

Dancing with Dynamite has even been mentioned in languages I don’t recognize, like this: “mengenai perdagangan internasional yang tidak melulu mengikuti resep-resep neoliberal. Benjamin Dangl menyebutnya Dancing with Dynamite, untuk menggambarkan bagaimana kelompok…”

The Chabot Spectator, of Chabot College in California, published an article reporting on my visit and presentation at the school. The author writes of the event, “Just a few days before students and faculty headed up to Sacramento to protest the cuts to education, Chabot’s population was shown the potential social movements could achieve.”

Thanks so much to everyone who has read the book, discussed it, disagreed with it, passed it on, lost or stolen it. You give Dancing with Dynamite a life beyond the words on its pages.

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