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Revolution Books

Revolution Books 1 Bookstores Chelsea Flower District Tenderloin

Spending time with Clark Kissinger, who has been the manager at Revolution Books for five years, was quite the educational experience. Before he came to the book shop, Clark spent an extensive amount of time as a radical, political activist and journalist standing up against the War in Vietnam in the 1960’s, and helping to organize the first March on Washington. While Revolution sells many books on leftist politics (with sections on topics such as women in the world, Blacks in the US, Latinos in the US, classic communist theory, revolutionary China, atheism and religion), they also have many books in fiction, art and even children’s books. Clark explained that this is because in order to change the world, one needs to see the world, and often the best way to see it is through art and culture. For him, the bookshop is not just about selling books. Revolution acts as an important alternate viewpoint - a portal for people to see another way the world could be.

The shop is not-for-profit, and is run completely on a volunteer basis, with a board of "radical thinkers." There are no paid employees and anyone is welcome to come in and volunteer. The store also welcomes interns, often who have come from difficult life backgrounds and need a bit of learning experience in the working world. But, like many small bookstores today, even with all their wonderful volunteers and interns, Revolution is struggling. They are currently in a battle to raise enough money to renew their lease, and have had several noteworthy authors - Edwidge Danticat, Walter Mosley, among others - come to speak and lend a bit of support. Clark admits that it might be easier to do an online business, but he sees having a physical space as vitally important for nurturing New York’s community of progressive thinkers. He also feels strongly about staying in the Chelsea area where the shop has always been.

No matter what one's political beliefs may be, Revolution Books is a special place with a well-curated selection. We do not think that there is anything else quite like it on a Manhattan side street.

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Revolution Books 1 Bookstores Chelsea Flower District Tenderloin
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