Since the day the United States had a name, protest in America has been a consistent force for change, voicing opinions, and showing pride in institutions or ideas. From early skirmishes between settlers and Native Americans to present-day marches for equality, a simple but brave “no” to systematic racism to upfront and demonstrative cross burnings, much of America has been shaped by people expressing — both peacefully and violently — their beliefs, feelings, or ideas.
“Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States” outlines many of these pivotal protests, including their motives, organizers, methods, levels of success, and other movements they later inspired. Although it doesn’t go over every single protest in the history of the United States (the book would be more of an encyclopedia if it did), it does include a wide range of topics and types and goes into very deep detail about every one of them.
At the end of the book, “Into the Streets” outlines how to start your own protest with tips and things to think about. And after being so inspired by the different protests you read about, you’re sure to have come up with something you would want to protest. And the guide will take you through how.
While extremely informative, inspiring, and enlightening, this book is longer than it seems. Extreme detail means a lot of potentially boring facts and a dull reading experience, but without it the book just wouldn’t be the same. And what it may lack in real entertainment value it more than makes up for with tons of pictures, graphics, and fun facts — like the meaning behind the peace sign (☮)!
Overall, I think it’s an important book that everyone, “young person” or not, should read. It’s truly eye-opening into just how effective a collective group of voices can be. It’s a bit of a long read, but what you’ll learn from it will be worth it.