Nathan Schneider
Thank You, Anarchy. Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse
Article published on 23 September 2013
last modification on 8 September 2013

Thank You, Anarchy is an up-close, inside account of Occupy Wall Street’s first year in New York City, from the early planning meetings to May Day and beyond. By thinking and acting toward the end of the world as we know it, the Occupy apocalypse caused a rupture that shook millions out of a failed tedium and into imagining, and fighting for, a better kind of future. The movement’s most stubborn and radical impulses created new possibilities for thousands of people, while also giving rise to some of its toughest obstacles.

This book charts the origins and growth of Occupy Wall Street through the eyes of some of its most determined organizers, who tried to give shape to an uprising always just beyond their control. I try to bring to life the General Assembly meetings, the chaotic marches, the split-second decisions, and the moments of doubt as Occupy swelled from a hashtag online into a global phenomenon. Thank You, Anarchy is a study of the spirit that drove this watershed movement. And, for those not faint of heart, it is also an invitation.


“Objective journalism, this is not.”—The New York Observer

“Thanks to this meticulous and elegant book, we know what one witness-participant was thinking all through the first year of Occupy, and what many of the sparks and some of the tinder were thinking, and what it was like to be warmed by that beautiful conflagration that spread across the world.”—Rebecca Solnit, from the foreword

“This book is a gift and a tool. Full of thick description and the voices of the protagonists themselves, you feel as if you are there, participating in the assemblies and occupations, feeling the joys and frustrations of the movement. A must read!”

—Marina Sitrin, Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina

“The balanced book on Occupy I’ve been waiting for: sharp journalistic observation and insider knowledge, big picture knowledge of movement dynamics and attention to the telling details, writing that’s witty and poignant. Schneider models for engaged intellectuals and thoughtful activists how to reflect on breakthrough events.”

—George Lakey, Swarthmore College

“Idealistic enough to cheer on the Occupy protests, realistic enough to catalogue their failures, Schneider brings the same alert witness and affable analysis that his book on belief featured.”

—John L. Murphy, New Clear Vision