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Book Explores Resistance As An American Tradition


Long before more than two million women and allies gathered in Washington D.C. for the 2017 Women’s March, and before almost daily protests against the current presidential administration splashed across national headlines, Americans were organizing and mobilizing acts of resistance, dating back to the very founding of the nation.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Iowa-based author and historian Jeff Biggers to discuss his new book Resistance: Reclaiming an American Tradition. The book takes a historical look at resistance throughout U.S. history, and explores how acts ranging from the Boston Tea Party to early environmental preservation efforts set a precedent for modern political resistance.

“More than a year ago, my 12-year-old son came to me after Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord and asked ‘is there hope?’” Biggers says. “Instead of giving him a lecture about climate change, I thought to look back in history and looking at trying times where there was resistance.”

Later in the hour, Biggers is joined by presidential historian and former director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum Tim Walch.

This program originally aired on August 6, 2018.

Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River