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All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity Hardcover – May 25, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Educator and humanitarian Fuller follows up his Somebodies and Nobodies with this stimulating, scattershot manifesto on the fight against "rankism," or the abuse of power based on rank. While the notion subsumes racism, sexism and class inequality, rankism also addresses the thousand daily insults—inflicted by playground bullies, abusive bosses, officious bureaucrats, condescending academics and snobs—that everyone suffers in a hierarchical, status-conscious society. Fuller's program for a "dignitarian society" emphasizes fine-grained reform of institutions and interpersonal relations, with lots of committee meetings and frank dialogues with rankist reprobates. A physicist by training, Fuller advances a deliberately vague, liberalish policy agenda, featuring schemes for conducting "dignity impact studies before authorizing new uses of power." Fuller insists that the dispassionate discussion of provisional "models" of reality can resolve any dispute without recourse to rank-pulling; religious fundamentalists and rationalists, for example, should just "build a 'meta-model' that reconciles the antagonists' views on basic methodological issues." Fuller's high-mindedness sometimes verges on naïveté, but his provocative analysis illuminates a rich vein of social discontent.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"All Rise gives us a clear mandate for transforming our society into a true democracy." -- Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Annotated edition (May 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ROBERT W. Fuller earned his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University and taught at Columbia, where he co-authored Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics. After serving as president of Oberlin College, he became a "citizen diplomat," working toward improving international relations during the Cold War. During the 1990s, he served as board chair of the non-profit global corporation Internews and promoted democracy via free and independent media.

When the Cold War ended with the collapse of the USSR, Fuller reflected on his career and realized that he had been, at different times in his life, a somebody and a nobody. His periodic sojourns into "Nobodyland" led him to identify rankism--abuse of the power inherent in rank--and ultimately to write SOMEBODIES AND NOBODIES: OVERCOMING THE ABUSE OF RANK. Three years later, he published a sequel that focuses on building a "dignitarian society" titled ALL RISE: SOMEBODIES, NOBODIES, AND THE POLITICS OF DIGNITY. With co-author Pamela Gerloff, he has also published DIGNITY FOR ALL: HOW TO CREATE A WORLD WITHOUT RANKISM. His most recent books are RELIGION AND SCIENCE: A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP?; GENOMES, MENOMES, WENOMES: NEUROSCIENCE AND HUMAN DIGNITY; THE WISDOM OF SCIENCE; BELONGING: A MEMOIR; THE THEORY OF EVERYBODY; and THE ROWAN TREE: A NOVEL.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My 12 year old transferred schools mid semester. He was the 'mayor' of his old school...very popular. Now he says, "I was a somebody, and now at the new school I am a nobody." The new school is better but he wants out.

It is easy to see it in kids, but Robert Fuller has identified an issue so pervasive and so ingrained that we adults don't even notice it. Sometimes it takes a great thinker (or a 12 year old) to show us the way.

This is a book about how to treat and be treated with dignity. Both a global blueprint and a personal one. Like our racial blindness only 50 years ago, rankism needs to be isolated so we can see it and conquer it. And that is what Robert Fuller does with deceiving simplicity.

I read the book on vacation. It is direct, simple and accessible. It makes its point with examples that will ring true to us all. Fuller makes his point so well, that it appears almost obvious.

Buy it. Read it. And read it again. This book will stay with you even if you don't have a 12 year old at home.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Fuller has written another extremely important book, one that takes a close look at how our institutions are changing and how we can change them to serve us better. We're all aware of how deflating many of our daily encounters can be. Here, each page makes us even more aware of the occasions when our dignity is being trampled---and what to do about it. It's a place we can turn for courage.
I wish I had the means to put this book in the hands of those who make mainstream movies. I want to see a movie where the hero or group of heroines say just those things we wish we could think of when we've been embarrassed, put down, humiliated or dismissed. I don't mean what we usually say when we intend to give the perpetrator his lumps. I'd like to see an exciting, funny, sometimes somber, always thoughtful movie showing the hero moving through life's common indignities---but coping gracefully with them.
As Fuller writes, "Rankism can only be ended when people find a way to protect the dignity of their tormenters while at the same time suggesting to them a way to treat people with respect." What we all need, as Fuller points out, is better models as illustrations of coping, a kind of verbal aikido which lets the person know that you've heard and received the injury, but that you're both bigger and smarter than that. In short, we need to have fun with our imaginations as we delve into deeper levels of response, levels where we're proud of our ability of think of new solutions, proud of how we've responded at the scene. We want ways to at least feel that we're left in a neutral position, rather than as enemies waiting for vengeance.
What is more important in this historic period of our lives?
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Format: Hardcover
I read Robert Fuller's first book in September of 2004 (Somebodies and Nobodies, Abuse of Rank), and it literally opened my eyes to a new concept of identifying rankism in the work place, and all other organizations I dealt with on a daily basis. After reading it, I wrote, what might be, the first resignation letter based on 'rankism' at the school where I was working. From there, the ideas in his book, inspired me to pursue writing my own children's book helping kids recognize and react too the somebody/nobody concept. His work is not about a book just idenitifying how rankism decays our society, but more about a movement which many of us wanted to join but didn't know where to sign up. All Rise,Somebodies and Nobodies and the Politics of Dignity, his second book, gives us working models for dignity in the workplace, personal relationships, government, and schools. With the cases presented, and models and templates, we can move forward with a dignitarian movement with a guide book of proven success stories, examples that show changes can occur. I hope people use it as a template for change for a more dignified society. This is not about a book, this is about a new way of thinking and a call for action. Join the movement towards a society free of rankism. Recognize it, identify it, and SAY something about it.

Stephanie Heuer

Peace Education

Author; I feel like nobody when... I feel like somebody when...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the many years, roughly 3,000 books of which 850+ have been reviewed here at Amazon, with a few exceptions all of the authors at the top of their game, I have never encountered a book quite so straight-forward or quite so vital to our future. At 54, I simply did not understand the fundamentals of "all men are created equal" until this author pointed me to the one word I was missing: "dignity."

This book is nothing less than revolutionary, nothing less than the manifesto for the new politics of transpartisanship and being developed by Don Beck and Jim Turner and Reuniting America (80 million strong and growing).

At the very highest level, the author suggests that "rankism" or the abuse of rank, not to be confused with the proper use of rank and authority for the good of the group, is an umbrella term that encompasses racism, sexism, fascism, and even (I add) fundamentalism that excludes "the others" and offers an almost cult-like sense of belonging to the "initiated." We are all in this together, and with one word, DIGNITY, the author has completely shredded all excuses for abusing others, and opened the door for a new politics of one for all and all for one. The Republican and Democratic parties are, in my personal view, toast. Not their individual candidates, mind you, but the two parties, both of which violated their Article 1 responsibilities for keeping the White House in check, both of which have treated "the other" party as the enemy, with arrests, venomous attacks, slander, and other monstrous behavior.
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