Banks Got Bailed Out, David Graeber Sells Out? OWS Figurehead Goes Mainstream for New Book

graeber david c2a9 melville house Banks Got Bailed Out, David Graeber Sells Out? OWS Figurehead Goes Mainstream for New Book

Graeber. (Photo via Melville House Press)

The Occupy Wall Street book deals are flooding in too fast to keep up! Yesterday saw announcements of books from Todd Gitlin and n+1; today it’s David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the University of London and one of the most prominent early participants in Occupy Wall Street. Recently profiled in Business Week as “the anti-leader of Occupy Wall Street,” Mr. Graeber’s first book, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, has become an unofficial bible of sorts for the movement and a deal to translate it into German was announced just a few days ago. That book was published by indie publisher Melville House Press, which is known for paying authors small advances. Now Mr. Graeber has jumped to the big leagues, to Random House-owned imprint Speigel & Grau for this second, as yet untitled book.

As described on Publishers Marketplace, the book will connect “the story of the Occupy movement to an exploration of the past and future of direct action, participatory democracy, and political transformation.” It will also be written quickly — it’s scheduled for publication in 2012.

UPDATE: It turns out Mr. Graeber is also working on another book for Melville House. Also untitled, the book will combine two essays written by Mr. Graeber about bureaucracy. One essay was delivered as a lecture at the London School of Economics in 2006 .


  1. StephenCM says:

    Debt isn’t his first book. Many of his already published works are available free online, and/or published by places like AK Press. C’mon now. Also, selling out would more likely entail that he’s abandoning his track-record of laying the smackdown on capitalism. Do you have that scoop, Observer?

    Wikipedia lists:
    Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of our Own DreamsFragments of an Anarchist AnthropologyConstituent Imagination (Editor)Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in MadagascarPossibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and DesireDirect Action: An EthnographyDebt: The First 5,000 YearsRevolutions in Reverse

    1. StephenCM says:

      The Wikipedia list is of books by David Graeber.

  2. Tommy says:

    Yes. That is quite the misleading headline… Sheesh!

  3. Joseph Perkovich says:

    What a shameless and pitiful attempt to discredit Dr. David Graeber! The man is a highly, highly trained academic.  Rest assured he could write an essay in a few days and it would be more accurate and scholarly and informative than anything Bill O’Reilly or his ghost writers ever put to ink.

  4. Hakomasong says:

    Sensationalist, cornball headline. Shame.

  5. Is this what passes for Journalism in the states? You’d do well in the UK then too!

  6. Graeber sucks says:

    Graeber’s a little clown, a weasel, a miscreant… essentially a real sell out. So the article, even though it is written poorly, is correct!