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Kaplan, Temma. Taking back the streets: women, youth, and direct democracy. California , 2004. 275p index afp ISBN 0-520-23649-1 pbk, $21.95 . Reviewed in 2004jul CHOICE.
Kaplan (Rutgers Univ.) relates the struggles of women and young people against authoritarianism and for democracy in Chile, Argentina, and Spain. Focusing on shaming rituals and attempting to reverse a trend to divide gender and political studies, Kaplan analyzes how activists promote participatory democracy and social justice through direct action. She triumphs the ability of ordinary citizens to consolidate their efforts into social movements as a "fifth estate" with dramatic impacts in the political sphere. In particular, women use protected gendered spaces in a machista culture to engage in shaming rituals to denounce government abuses. The juxtaposition of four case studies from the 1970s and 1980s is compelling but potentially confusing to readers without a background in this history. Women's resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo denouncements of the military regime in Argentina make for logical comparisons, but chapters on conservative opposition to the leftist Allende government in Chile, contemporary youth protests, and a concluding chapter on Spain fit less tightly in this work. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- M. Becker, Truman State University

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