As offshoots of the Occupy Wall Street protests continue to spring up around the country, the publishing company OR Books has announced that it will release a history of the movement titled “Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America.”
OR Books said the book will be written by Writers for the 99%, a collection of writers and researchers who have expressed support for the movement, and will be released Dec. 17. The date will be the three-month anniversary of the movement.
OR Books co-founder Colin Robinson told New York Magazine that they hoped to chronicle the events of the protest more than news coverage or any other accounts have so far.
“Although you can't deliver definitive opinions at the moment or set out a course of action, you can record the details of what has happened so far in Zuccotti Park,” Robinson said.
“While events are still fresh in people's minds, what we can do is put together their recollections on what happened,” Robinson said of the decision to write the book now. “People's perception does change over time, which is one of the reasons for doing something so quickly. There's a kind of rawness to the fact that it won't have the benefit of hindsight to it.”
Robinson said he could not define who the Writers for the 99% were at this time, but that there were several well-known authors involved. The writers will interview participants, then compile the content into a collective story. Robinson told New York Magazine that organizers of the protests had expressed “a fair amount of support for the idea.”
He told the Huffington Post that the unusual style of writing the book, with the content of the book being decided by a consensus of movement participants who attend their meetings, is something he’s never tried before.
“It's an absolute nightmare,” Robinson said. “But I think there's something very exciting about it, too.”
Robinson told the Huffington Post they hope to get others involved in the movement by conveying the mood of the protests to readers.
“We really want to give the feel of being involved in the action, and that extraordinary feeling of solidarity that you get when you go into the park,” Robinson said.
The book will touch on events such as the arrests of over 700 protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge, women protestors being pepper-sprayed by an NYPD deputy, and city administration deciding not to clean out the park, according to the OR Books website. It will also discuss how the protests began, the day-to-day decision process of the participants, and how needs like medical requirements, food and security are met, according to the website.
Robinson told New York Magazine he’s a particularly good fit to tell the movement’s story because of his history as a protester.
“I occupied my high school in 1968 to be able to grow our hair and smoke,” he said. "Driving by there now, it looks like it worked.”
According to the publishing company’s website, “Occupying Wall Street” will be exactly 200 pages, with black-and-white illustrations, with a price of $15. It will be released in paper on-demand copies as well as in e-book form, and all profits from the books will go to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
OR Books became well-known after publishing the book “Going Rouge,” a collection of negative essays about Sarah Palin, which debuted the same day as her memoir “Going Rogue” and ended up on the New York Times bestseller list.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.