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Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists Paperback – September 7, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Courtney Martin’s portraits of eight young activists reveal people who are flawed, scared, and human—which makes them all the more inspiring. An elegant, effortless read that confirms what we already know: young people continue to change the world.”
—Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, authors of Manifesta and Grassroots
“Do It Anyway asks the most difficult question possible: how can I make my life meaningful? The answers are varied, transformational, and necessary for us all.”
“Courtney Martin is one of our most insightful culture critics and one of our finest young writers. She’s written a lively, compelling, and very important book for people of every generation who want to be fully alive in and to the world. Take in what she says and you may find yourself turning to that impossible cause you care about and ‘doing it anyway.’”
—Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak
“Unlike a lot of authors, Courtney Martin isn’t trying to sell you activism and why you should (yawn) get involved. Instead, she goes deep into the stories and lived experience of eight individuals. Do It Anyway is a treasure and deeply affecting.”
—Billy Wimsatt, author of Bomb the Suburbs and Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs
“Put this on your must read list! Courtney Martin, of Feministing and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters fame, has just launched a new book. Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists profiles the work of eight activists, doing what they can to make this world a better place.”
- The Real Deal
More About the Author
She is also a widely-read freelance journalist and regular blogger for Feministing. She is a Senior Correspondent for The American Prospect Online and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.
In addition, Courtney consults with social justice organizations throughout the nation, including the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Bartos Institute for the Constructive Engagement of Conflict. She has conducted workshops for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty throughout the nation.
Courtney also co-wrote the life story of AIDS activist Marvelyn Brown, called The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive. She is currently at work on a book for Beacon Press about ten people under 35 creating innovative social change and an anthology for Seal Press about the moments that made young women feminists.
In addition, she has essays in many anthologies, including A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox (Oxford University Press), and Declare Yourself: Fifty American Talk about Why Voting Matters (Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins).
She has been on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, the O'Reilly Factor, and MSNBC, and spoken on radio programs and at colleges, non-profits, and parenting organizations across the nation.
Courtney has an M.A. from the Gallatin School at New York University in writing and social change and a B.A. from Barnard College in political science and sociology. She is a Woodhull fellow and part of the Progressive Women's Voices Project at the Women's Media Center. She was awarded the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics in 2002 and was a Resident at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center this summer. Courtney also founded The Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy, just named one of the NEW York 100.
When she isn't working, which is not nearly enough of the time, she is walking in Brooklyn's Prospect Park or conspiring to create unselfconscious dance parties with her amazing friends.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not a book on how to become an activist or how to do community organizing. It is a volume of human stories of people who care about how they use their lives for the common good. Martin's profiles assure us that there are young people who deeply care about their fellow humans. The book may be most useful to other young adults who are searching how to make a difference in their communities. Martin avoids romanticizing the activists she profiles. She reveals the struggles, doubts, and faults of those she writes about while also holding up their gifts, commitment, and courage.
The book is well written. The people profiled are portrayed in their humanness and, as a result, can simultaneously evoke admiration and annoyance in the reader. Do not expect an activist manual. Do expect insight into the difficultly of becoming an activist. Then be inspired to do it anyway.
The book begins on a somber note with the tale of Rachel Corrie, the Washingtonian peace activist who sacrificed herself in Israel to protect Palestinians whose house was to be demolished. Martin uses Corrie's story as a jumping off point, saying that "we must not envy that end, but turn to 'live people' for our inspiration..." Ms. Martin does just that by talking to people like Raul Diaz, a prison reentry social worker in Los Angeles; Nia Martin-Robinson, an environmental justice activist in DC; and Tyrone Boucher, a radical philanthropist in Philadelphia.
I really like Ms. Martin's style of writing and her ability to share these individuals' stories and their struggles. Martin also calls out the problems with bureaucracy and mainstream solutions that each of them have to deal with. I was especially taken by the point she makes that foundations and other nonprofits perpetuate the problems that they're trying to solve by not questioning the system that they're a part of as much as they probably could.
I was also pleased to learn about young people of privilege who are uncomfortable with that and want to do something about it. In this post-Reagan era of greed and selfishness, it was refreshing to read about. In general, I found the book refreshing and inspiring. The mainstream media seems to take great pleasure in looking down on younger generations. It has always done this, and it has always been wrong.
She gives a voice to those that are fighting hard to make a difference, that our generation is making a difference in one life, while trying to make greater overall change.
Courtney Martin captures the stories, makes you want to get more involved in changing the world, without the typical feeling that you aren't doing enough. She writes with compassion, a critical eye and an ability to tell the story that makes you care, shows you the inside and leaves you feeling. Her writing makes this book a page turner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reserving total judgement until I have finished it. But, it mets my expectations and more, thus far. Very insightful and well-written.Published 11 months ago by Scott L. Wakefield
As someone who drank a lot of the "save the world" cool-aid as a kid in the 90s, and experienced major activist burn out after college, this was a great read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by veggielover
Church ladies group reading requirement. I did like some of the thought process in the book.Published 16 months ago by Barbara Sypolt
Fantastic read for any young philanthropist/activist. I would even encourage this book to any millennial looking to make a powerful difference in this world -- loved it!Published 20 months ago by Inspiring Read
The book is written in "blog style." It is casually written, and doesn't go very in-depth into the biographies. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Flower
Great read. It inspires you to do something and not just know what needs to be done. It was so inspiring to get to get a piece of everyones journey and how they are makeing a... Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Jill
Good, easy reading for senior citizen. Agree with the author and wish I were younger so I could latch on to some of these ideas.Published on May 22, 2013 by patsy edwards
This came promptly and I hope to read it in the next 7 months. I have a lot to do these days.Published on April 3, 2013 by Dorothy Killebrew