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Resistance: Reclaiming an American Tradition



Original Language: English (USA) | 400 pp. | July 2018

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French, and Nordic Rights


Jeff Biggers has the unblinking gaze of the honed journalist, a novelist’s sense of image and story, and a prophet’s cache of outrage. He stands in my very short list of American literary heroes.Luis Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway and The Hummingbird’s Daughter

Resist we must, resist we will–and as this volume powerfully reminds us, in so doing we are acting on the deepest American instincts.Bill McKibben, author Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance

With compelling and engaging prose, Jeff Biggers lays out the case for Resistance in the age of Trump. There are so many lessons to learn from Resistance: Reclaiming an American Tradition. Our turbulent times, Biggers shows us, have eerie and chilling parallels to the birth pangs of our nation and to the continuing struggles of We the People to define and claim our voices. At this moment in history, when even the act of listening to the news can cause despair, Biggers gives us hope. In response to our darkness, he reaffirms the light that resistance offers. He shows us that the free expression of Resistance, whether with the pen, our marching feet, the taking of a knee before a football game, the words to a song—to name a few—remains a cornerstone of what it means to be American.Naomi Benaron, author of the Bellwether Prize-winning Running the Rift

These are the times that try our souls. Across cities, towns and campuses, Americans are grappling with overwhelming challenges and the daily fallout from the most authoritarian White House policies in recent memory. In a riveting and inspiring narrative history, Jeff Biggers’ Resistance reframes today’s battles as a continuum of a vibrant American tradition, chronicling the arduous, courageous, and often squabbling resistance movements that insured the benchmarks of our democracy—and served on the front lines of the American Revolution, the defense of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the defeat of fascism during World War II, and various civil rights movements. As an intimate history, Resistance is a provocative reconsideration of the American Revolution and its unfolding promises, bringing alive early Native American, African American and immigrant struggles, women’s rights, and pioneering environmental justice movements and their presence today. Biggers shows how a republic of resistance has served as a de facto “Truth and Reconciliation” commission for our history, especially in times when our nation—and its leaders—need to be held accountable.

Legendary historian Studs Terkel praised Biggers’ The United States of Appalachia, now in its 8th printing, as a “how-to book” in the tradition of the American Revolution. With Resistance, Biggers opens a new window into American history and its meaning today.


Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of several works of history, memoir, journalism, and theater, including The United States of Appalachia, praised by the Citizen Times as a “masterpiece of popular history”; State Out of the Union, selected by Publishers Weekly as a Top Ten Social Science book in 2012; and Reckoning at Eagle Creek, winner of the Delta Prize for Literature and David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting.