Chelsea Green Publishing

Rules for Revolutionaries

Pages:224 pages
Size: 5.375 x 8.375 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603587273
Pub. Date November 18, 2016

Rules for Revolutionaries

How Big Organizing Can Change Everything

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
November 18, 2016

$18.00

Lessons from the groundbreaking grassroots campaign that helped launch a new political revolution

Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the political establishment and the “rules” that govern campaign strategy.

It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: A technology-driven team empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make seventy-five million calls, launch eight million text messages, and hold more than one-hundred thousand public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign over the top.

Bond and Exley, digital iconoclasts who have been reshaping the way politics is practiced in America for two decades, have identified twenty-two rules of “Big Organizing” that can be used to drive social change movements of any kind. And they tell the inside story of one of the most amazing grassroots political campaigns ever run.

Fast-paced, provocative, and profound, Rules for Revolutionaries stands as a liberating challenge to the low expectations and small thinking that dominates too many advocacy, non-profit, and campaigning organizations—and points the way forward to a future where political revolution is truly possible.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Publishers Weekly-

"Bond and Exley, senior advisors on the Sanders presidential campaign and the primary architects of the campaign’s national grassroots efforts, distill the organizing techniques they employed during the hard-fought Sanders-Clinton Democratic presidential primary. Bond and Exley argue convincingly that the old-school organizing techniques embodied in Saul Alinsky’s classic Rules for Radicals fall short in the 21st-century age of social media. They divide their commentary into 22 rules, illustrated by examples from the campaign. They cover basics like fund-raising, phone banking, and intraorganization communication, but the heart of their theory is 'big organizing.' The idea is that people will organize around issues that are fundamental and speak to “big target universes,” such as making public college free, or providing universal health care. Along with identifying issues that matter to lots of people, the new rules embrace a structure that gives power to volunteers. Bond and Exley also argue that good management is not counter-revolutionary and note the dangers of management by consensus. The successes of the Sanders campaign gives credibility to this new organizing paradigm, and Bond and Exley’s valuable and pragmatic road map will appeal to those interested in social change, whether they’re organizing presidential campaigns or neighborhood efforts.”

“Bernie Sanders’s presidential run was a spectacular wake-up call, revealing the huge number of Americans willing to fight for radical change. That includes a great many who didn’t sign up for the political revolution this time around, which is good news: Our movements can learn how to go even bigger and broader. We can win—but only if we continue to develop the kinds of tactics, tools, and vision laid out in this vitally important book, perhaps the first to explore how to organize at the true scale of the crises we face.”--Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

Rules for Revolutionaries is a lamppost for those who are committed to causes of community uplift, grassroots empowerment, and organizing for good. Insurgents get ready, this is the book for you.”--Nina Turner, assistant professor of African American history, Cuyahoga Community College; national surrogate, Bernie Sanders campaign; former Ohio state senator

 

“Here’s a guide from the heart of Bernie’s grassroots movement that mobilized hundreds of thousands of volunteers. Rules for Revolutionaries is a playbook for ‘big organizing’—a melding of grassroots movement tactics with new technology. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to take back our economy from the moneyed interests.”--Robert B. Reich, author of Saving Capitalism

“If you want to change the world and the status quo, read this book. An alternate title would appropriately be: How to Make the Impossible, Possible. Prepare to be inspired.”--Assemblywoman Lucy Flores

“Climate activists around the world watched Bernie’s vibrant volunteer network with envy and wondered whether we, too, could build that level of engagement absent a candidate and national election. Bond and Exley answer that question: Yes, we can! Everyone who wants to solve climate change—or any other big issue—should read this book and get started.”--Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA

“This must-read book lays down 22 ‘rules’ designed to put power in the hands of people who want to make radical social change. Becky Bond and Zack Exley have walked the walk—and they know what organizing looks like when you begin with a big, transformative demand and challenge the establishment. You win big when you ask big—and whoever wins in November, we’ll need to push for revolutionary change from Day One. Becky and Zack’s book is a vital contribution to that project!”--Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, The Nation 

“If you want to understand Bernie's remarkable campaign—and more importantly, if you want to understand how to organize big, world-shaking campaigns of all kinds in the future—this is the book for you. The authors bring enormous credibility and enormous insight to a crucial task; what they describe in electoral politics goes just as much for battles like the one around the Keystone pipeline.”--Bill McKibben, New York Times bestselling author; cofounder, 350.org

“Two of our generation’s most accomplished organizers share the creative tactics and technology they used to lead hundreds of thousands of people to volunteer their time to change the course of history—and how you can, too. This page-turner belongs in the hands of new and veteran organizers alike and will set the standard for how to make change in the twenty-first century.”--David Broockman, assistant professor of political economy, Stanford University

“For populists who want to continue Bernie Sanders’s political revolution and win radical change, this is a book for you. In their Rules for Revolutionaries, Becky Bond and Zack Exley lay down a new marker for what mass volunteer organizing makes possible by combining emerging consumer technology and radical trust with some tried and true ‘old organizing’ tactics.”--Jim Hightower, author of Swim Against the Current

“Crucial, important, strategic, urgent.”--Naomi Wolf, New York Times bestselling author of The End of America

“Becky and Zack’s rules are as refreshing as Bernie’s candidacy itself. Their rules are specific enough to get started right now and flexible enough to last for the long haul of the revolution we so desperately need."--Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70; cofounder, Climate Disobedience Center

Kirkus Reviews-

"Senior advisers to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign leadership offer pointers on how to start the next movement—or perhaps continue the one they started. By some lights, Sanders should have won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. By any measure, his ‘revolution' was an extraordinary success, taking a little-known, admitted socialist from a small New England state and propelling him to the national spotlight—and, though a half-century's age difference prevailed, capturing the hearts of countless millennials. Bond and Exley, members of a team of 'go-for-broke irregulars,' did much to propel the Sanders movement in their daily work, much of which hinged on old-fashioned principles of campaigning. As they note, 'when you look at the actual campaign results, the gold standard for moving voters in elections is a volunteer having a conversation with a voter on the doorstep or on the telephone.' How do you get volunteers inspired? How do you organize them, especially when they're working for an out-of-the-mainstream candidate and may incline to the anarchic? How do you keep the bossy ones from cowing the more sheepish among the crew? Bond and Exley, alternating chapters and anecdotes, have plenty of answers: don't ask who wants to be the leader but instead ask 'who wants to get to work.' Make everyone feel welcome. Above all, make everyone feel as if they're taking part in a historic moment, in something big. That said, the authors note, there are some necessary evils, including hiring professionals once an electoral movement gets to a cer tain momentum and courting wealthy donors. Again, they have answers: 'Puritanism is a bad thing!' they admonish, meaning there's not much room in practical politics for purity of procedure—to which they add, helpfully, that the path to change means being 'willing to throw out old practices.' A lively update of and rejoinder to Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, which, as this book very well may do, has long offered guidance to the right as well as the left."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Becky Bond

Becky Bond served as a senior advisor on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and was an architect of the campaign’s national, volunteer-driven grassroots campaign. Prior to joining the Bernie Sanders campaign, Becky served as political director at CREDO where she was an innovator working at the intersection of organizing, politics, and technology for over a decade. Becky is a cofounder of CREDO SuperPAC, which was named by Mother Jones as one “2012’s Least Horrible Super-PACs” for helping to defeat five sitting Tea Party Republican Congressmen. She lives in San Francisco, California, with the writer, designer, and book artist Emily McVarish. For more information about Becky, Rules for Revolutionaries, and a downloadable, open-source teaching tool to help you implement change in your community, visit www.bigorganizing.com

Zack Exley

Zack Exley served as a senior advisor on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and was an architect of the campaign’s national, volunteer-driven grassroots campaign. Zack was a union organizer before becoming MoveOn.org’s first organizing director in its campaign to prevent the war in Iraq in 2003. As an early advisor to the Howard Dean campaign, he helped transfer MoveOn.org’s early fundraising and organizing discoveries into presidential politics, and he then served as John Kerry’s director of online fundraising and communications in the general election where his team raised more than $100 million online for the nominee. Subsequently, Zack worked as a consultant to global NGOs, campaigns, and companies, and served as Wikipedia’s chief community officer and chief revenue officer. He lives in the Ozarks with his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Esther. For more information about Zack, Rules for Revolutionaries, and a downloadable, open-source teaching tool to help you implement change in your community, visit www.bigorganizing.com

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Zack Exley | Lessons from the Sanders Campaign

Zack Exley is a political and technology consultant, co-founder and former president of the New Organizing Institute, and a Senior Advisor to Bernie Sanders. In his PDF 2016 talk, Exley explores organizing in a digital age and unleashing the power of many.

New Republic - Primary Concerns Podcast: Episode: Open Source Bernie

New Republic - Primary Concerns Podcast: Episode: Open Source Bernie

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Marijuana is Safer

Marijuana is Safer

By Steve Fox and Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert

In 2012, voters in Colorado shocked the political establishment by making the use of marijuana legal for anyone in the state twenty-one years of age or older. In the wake of that unprecedented victory, nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert revisit the "Marijuana Is Safer" message that contributed to the campaign’s success--as the first edition of this book predicted it would in 2009. In this updated and expanded edition, the authors include a new chapter on the victory in Colorado and updates on a growing mountain of research that supports their position.

Through an objective examination of marijuana and alcohol, and the laws and social practices that steer people toward the latter, the authors pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol? For those unfamiliar with marijuana, Marijuana Is Safer provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, and debunks some of the government's most frequently cited marijuana myths.

More importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuana policy reform--or simply want to defend their own personal, safer choice--this book provides the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, elected officials and, of course, future voters.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Marijuana is Safer

Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, Mason Tvert

Paperback $14.95

Climate Change

Climate Change

By Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert

You know that the ice caps are melting, the seasons are changing, sea levels are rising, storms are on the increase, but what can you do about it? Plenty!

This book puts the power back into your hands in the face of the doom and gloom of climate change. You don’t have to wait for someone else to sort it out; rather than worry and feel helpless, you can get up and do something.

Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference is packed with ideas for action, from simple everyday things that cost nothing to bigger projects that involve more time and money. For example:

Get on your bike • Buy local food • Turn off your TV • Insulate your attic • Recycle and compost • Take the train • Turn down the heat • Install solar panels

Do your part and protect the planet for today and tomorrow.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Climate Change

Jon Clift, Amanda Cuthbert

Paperback $7.95

The Local Economy Solution

The Local Economy Solution

By Michael Shuman

Reinventing economic development as if small business mattered

In cities and towns across the nation, economic development is at a crossroads. A growing body of evidence has proven that its current cornerstone—incentives to attract and retain large, globally mobile businesses—is a dead end. Even those programs that focus on local business, through buy-local initiatives, for example, depend on ongoing support from government or philanthropy. The entire practice of economic development has become ineffective and unaffordable and is in need of a makeover. 

The Local Economy Solution suggests an alternative approach in which states and cities nurture a new generation of special kinds of businesses that help local businesses grow. These cutting-edge companies, which Shuman calls “pollinator businesses,” are creating jobs and the conditions for future economic growth, and doing so in self-financing ways. 

Pollinator businesses are especially important to communities that are struggling to lift themselves up in a period of economic austerity, when municipal budgets are being slashed. They also promote locally owned businesses that increase local self-reliance and evince high labor and environmental standards. 

The book includes nearly two dozen case studies of successful pollinator businesses that are creatively facilitating business and neighborhood improvements, entrepreneurship, local purchasing, local investing, and profitable business partnerships. Examples include Main Street Genome (which provides invaluable data to improve local business performance), Supportland (which is developing a powerful loyalty card for local businesses), and Fledge (a business accelerator that finances itself through royalty payments). It also shows how the right kinds of public policy can encourage the spread of pollinator businesses at virtually no cost.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Local Economy Solution

Michael Shuman

Paperback $19.95

The Climate Change Playbook

The Climate Change Playbook

By Dennis Meadows and Linda Booth Sweeney and Gillian Martin Mehers

Advocates and teachers often find it difficult to communicate the complexities of climate change, because the people they are trying to reach hold so many mistaken assumptions. They assume, for example, that when climate change becomes an obvious threat to our everyday lives, there will still be time enough to make changes that will avoid disaster. Yet at that point it will be too late. Or they assume we can use our current paradigms and policy tools to find solutions. Yet the approaches that caused damage in the first place will cause even more damage in the future.

Even the increasingly dire warnings from scientists haven’t shaken such assumptions.  Is there another way to reach people?

The simple, interactive exercises in The Climate Change Playbook can help citizens better understand climate change, diagnose its causes, anticipate its future consequences, and effect constructive change. Adapted from The Systems Thinking Playbook, the twenty-two games are now specifically relevant to climate-change communications and crafted for use by experts, advocates, and educators. Illustrated guidelines walk leaders through setting each game up, facilitating it, and debriefing participants. Users will find games that are suitable for a variety of audiences—whether large and seated, as in a conference room, or smaller and mobile, as in a workshop, seminar, or meeting.

Designed by leading thinkers in systems, communications, and sustainability, the games focus on learning by doing.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Climate Change Playbook

Dennis Meadows, Linda Booth Sweeney, Gillian Martin Mehers

Paperback $24.95