by Esmerelda Weatherwax (February 2016)
The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest – Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League.
By Joel Busher
Routledge (November 19, 2015)
196 pp., $119.79, £90.00.
I am reviewing this book as a general reader, mindful that it is a university research study in a field that is not my own. But it has much to commend it. more>>>
Very interesting. Heartening, too.
I stumbled across the book while editing an article for Wikipedia. One of the lazy editors found a phrase he wanted from a google search. As I started reading the book (or what the publisher makes visible as a sample) to see the context and verify the relevance, I was struck by the author's ability to be purely descriptive without the customary "virtue signaling." Your review helps me to understand why the book was refreshingly objective. The author is a true scholar.
I found the book valuable for my article. I also added it to the "English Defence League" article on its reference list. If I have time I'll read the book and try to fix the article but I know there will be pushback.
I've read Joel Busher's book and I'd like to take you up on a point of interpretation; you note that "The mechanics of world-making as described in this book sounds (to me) very similar to what [...] we called ‘consciousness raising’. Relating things, incidents, facts, opinions held by others, pointing them out, making them known. Something I believe much of my work still is; point out the facts, encourage people to think about the implications"
However the 'world-making' undertaken by EDL activists that's recorded in the book is highly selective, that which is labelled 'doing my research', and it seems to incorporate into the EDL's canon of belief only that which suits their narrative of the threat to 'ordinary English people' posed by 'muzzies'.
You're clearly a fan of an alternative form of 'world-making' with your pseudonym of Esmerelda Weatherwax, borrowed from Terry Pratchett's work. The Discworld is, of course, a fictional construct, and is as unreliable a moral guide for the 20th and 21st century as is the work of Charles Dickens for the 19th century.
It's a while since I've read Terry Pratchett's series of 'Witches' books about Esmerelda Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, et al but I doubt if the author would approve of the antics of the EDL or allow his main characters to echo those sentiments.
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