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Naomi Wolf’s most favorite mistake?

In a new interview on Huffington Post with Seema Kalia (her biweekly post called “My Favorite Mistake”), New York Times bestselling author Naomi Wolf (The End of America) reveals that her most favorite mistake was working on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential bid as a paid consultant, rather than an unpaid volunteer. This left her unable to take on the urban myth created by the GOP that she was helping Gore with being an “alpha” male and with picking out “earth tones.” Here’s what she has to say:
Writers have to be free to criticize anybody and criticize the powers that be and to always be transparent with their readers. So since I was formally signed up with the campaign rather than volunteering as I had in ’96 I wasn’t in a position, contractually, to hit back against the evil Republican National Committee when they started to circulate pernicious things about what I was doing on the campaign. The whole “Alpha Male” flap, the whole “earth tone” (wardrobe) flap was completely invented out of whole cloth – the stuff of urban legends, but they were such good urban legends they quickly got picked up by the mainstream media because no one was fact-checking it, and my hands were tied.
Wolf said she signed up for a paid slot on the Gore campaign because, as a feminist, she wanted to be paid to do what men were paid to do when consulting for a campaign, rather than just being a volunteer. She was also there to advise Gore on women’s issues, such as social security, family leave, and flextime—NOT his outfits. She then went on to talk about her current campaign work, which is that of the American Freedom Campaign and its effort to get 1,000 lawyers to call for a special prosecutor to investigate crimes committed by the Bush Administration. To be sure, such a call for a prosecutor is no mistake.


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
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