Books & Literature

Book Review: Revolt, by Nadav Eyal, translated by Haim Watzman

NON-FICTION: Revolt is an eloquent and provocative challenge to the prevailing wisdom about the rise of nationalism and populism.

A thought-provoking and heavy book; not for the faint-hearted.
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Sokolov Prize-winning journalist Nadav Eyal shares his extensive political knowledge with us in debut book Revolt. As Israeli Movement for Freedom of Information chairman, he is passionate about exposing political truths, and has over two decades of experience to draw upon. 

His ability to tap into the ‘unseen’ was brought into the global spotlight recently, with his Trumplanddocumentary series. This series suggested Trump would win the election. We all know the rest.

Whilst this makes for good factual reading, his expansive knowledge base makes it hard to specify for which audience the author’s novel is intended. He is both subjective and impersonal at the same time. The book is similar to a textbook, and as such digestible only in chunks for the average reader. 

It is a textbook on globalisation, with chapters that relate to what it encompasses. Journalistic narratives, right wing groups, nationalism, refugees, populism, technological advances, economics, politics, cultures, religions, persecution, and most notably, the idea of a global revolution are all covered in great detail.

Eyal interweaves multiple personal experiences into the text. However, with so many focal points (which is only requisite considering the subject matter), they provide us with little connection to the persons mentioned in the book.

For example, he meets a refugee on the road to freedom and then reconnects with them later in the book. However, their personal story is embedded only in reference to the subject material the author is covering, and therefore the author’s concerns are more how the person fits into the impact of globalisation, rather than the impact on the refugee themselves.

The novel is all written in first person and the author’s viewpoint is undoubtedly clear throughout, reiterating valid concerns for the global future. Is there really any difference between the right and the left? His personal interjections are based on his professional experiences as a journalist, and people he has met along the way. The state of global unrest, he deduces, can only lead to one path: Revolt

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

Distributed by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Released: 9 February 2021
RRP: $34.99

NON-FICTION: Revolt is an eloquent and provocative challenge to the prevailing wisdom about the rise of nationalism and populism.

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