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All the Power: Revolution Without Illusion (Punk Planet Books) Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

ALL THE POWER is an "anti-manifesto" from Washington DC's leading political activist, offering a contemporary update of Saul Alinsky's RULES FOR RADICALS for the launch of the new Akashic imprint, PUNK PLANET BOOKS.

With a preface by Jennifer Baumgardner, author of MANIFESTA: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future

From the Inside Flap

"Mark loves to dance with words: He finds struggle in right as well as wrong, all the while keeping time with a cadence of thoughts and approaches. He is a free-agent believer open to possibility. His decision to reflect on his personal journey through what he refers to as 'revolution' may lull the reader with the packaging, as the written word is often mistaken for the truth. The fact that questions in a written form can at times resemble answers is a danger for most activist writers, as well as writing activists. Be that as it may, it is Mark's content, the inexhaustible work ethic and boundless hope for the better, that serves as the true ballast of his conviction."
IAN MACKAYE

"Does organized rebellion need its own Martha Stewart? Relax, this isn't it. In your grasp is a heartfelt, brick-by-brick guide from a committed veteran activist on heart, soul, music, his own life's surprises, and how we can all bring ongoing change to our own communities."
JELLO BIAFRA

"Mark Andersen is the living Holden Caulfield, committed to making the world a better place for all its children. This book reflects his deep caring and concern for the human condition, urging us to hold onto the dream of King and find a way to come together, again, toward humane revolutionary change."
ELAINE BROWN, former Chairman of the Black Panther Party

"By naming some of the difficult, unanswered questions from past movements, All The Power opens up exciting conversations about how to proceed in today's world. This fascinating examination of activism over the past fifty years is a must-read for anyone wanting to contribute effectively to movements for change."
CATHY WILKERSON, Students For a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground

"Mark's decency and vision are both appealing and effective in suggesting practical strategies to make systemic change. All the Power is an incisive and important look at past and present North American radicalism that can help us build a better world."
HEATHER BOOTH, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, cofounder of "Jane" collective and Midwest Academy

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Product Details

  • Series: Punk Planet Books
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888451726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888451726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,591,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Land on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was moved to write a review here, something I never do, by the inaccuracy or apathy expressed in the only other review of this radical text. This is a book for those striving to achieve success in social justice movements.

I have been involved in movements for social change since I was a teenager, and even more so once I was introduced to punk culture. Punk is not just music. Punk is not just an aesthetic. Punk is an attempt to re-frame and alter the injustice that is pervasive among the many, and championed by the few.

Andersen wants us---punks, activists, feminists, environmentalists, anarchists, etc---to learn from his vast experience. He has an important story to tell. As Jello Biafra states on the book's jacket: "In your grasp is a heartfelt, brick-by-brick guide from a committed veteran activist on heart, soul, music, his own life's surprises, and how we can all bring ongoing change to our own communities."

I emphatically encourage anyone with any interest in social change or activism to read this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Morrell on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Andersen's book provides an intimate, clear-eyed retrospective on a lifetime of activism, carefully illuminating what works and what doesn't when we're seeking to organize for change. At a time when many of us are hoping for an 'American Spring' vis-a-vis Occupy Wall Street and other populist uprisings, it's important that we don't descend into lifestyle niches, but truly build a broad-based coalition across class and cultural lines. 'All the Power: Revolution Without Illusions' is a power-full wake-up call that should be read alongside more basic primers like 'Rules for Radicals' if we're to bring revolutionary change into the real world.
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By Isherwood on March 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark describes his project as an effort to combine the insights of Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" with the cautions of Horowitz and Collier's "Destructive Generation." "All the Power" does not not bridge that huge chasm. A decade on it would be useful if Anderson would return to his tome and strip it down to an extended essay on what he has learned through his admirable commitments and work. I fear that Mark is weighed down by Catholic guilt and thus defaults to scolding rather than enlightening. His cautionary tales include very few positive lessons or insights on how to build a movement for a better world. His stunted notion of anarchism, which he employs as more of an identity than action plan, avoids engagement with the social democratic tradition which has helped to build the positive social institutions and reforms that have made the US an almost livable place. Without the imagination and commitment of those who imagined themselves to be socialists there would be no Social Security, collective bargaining, Medicare, or Medicaid. The civil rights and feminist revolutions would not have happened in the manner they did without seasoned cadre of the left who often did the heavy lifting.

As a person of similar age who engaged in many of the same issues and campaigns in the DC area as mark without once participating in the punk scene, I find Mark's meanderings about music to be largely irrelevant. If the sense of community and alternative identity that emerged from the world of punk inspired positive activism then it should be applauded and examined for broadly applicable lessons to use in current campaigns.
For me, the music and scene was more of a faddish identity than incubator of movements.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David DN on July 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mark Andersen probably means well. However the admonitions about how radicals "should" behave are paternalistic, poorly thought out, and occasionally offensive.

Nobody but nobody who wants to change anything needs to have this kind of deadening advice at any point. It's not because Mark isn't entitled to his opinion or even that it's necessarily wrong (I guess I agree with a lot of what's in here). But if you want to tell other people how they should behave in potential future situations, it would be better to be direct and to use a bit more humility. Mark seems to want to construct big old "we" statements in this confusing mixture of personal anecdote and opinion. He'd have done much better to stick to purer I and you statements and leave people the room and dignity not only to make up their own minds but to find their own ways--ones that may be better than anything Mark can imagine.

There is a deep lack of respect for other people's different tactics. So in a way this is just another book by someone who has already decided what a better world looks like and is trying to get everyone not only to share that same vision but to use the same tactics to get there.

Many former punk rockers seem to have got religiously censorious in their old age. My notion during the 70s and 80s was that a lot of punk rockers were working stuff out in art that they'd have done better working out in sex or politics. Today many of them seem to be divorced from their emotions and hearts (and their emotions don't seem to have matured or been nurtured much) but that's all my personal junk--bottom line is that the tone of this book gives me the creeps.
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