This book was conceived by Safran Foer Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Dave Eggers as a way to bring over a hundred authors together to promote progressive causes in the November 2004 election. The book is an imagining of what a dictionary might look like about thirty years hence, when all of the world's problems are solved and our current president is a distant memory. The book is by turns funny, outraged, utopian, and dyspeptic.
Over 150 writers contributed to the book, including: Stephen King, Robert Olen Butler, Glen David Gold, Richard Powers, Susan Straight, Sarah Vowell, Billy Collins, C.K. Williams, Colson Whitehead, Donald Antrim, Jonathan Franzen, Edwidge Danticat, Edward Hirsch, Joyce Carol Oates, Katha Pollitt, Padgett Powell, Paul Auster, Anthony Swofford, Julia Alvarez, Susan Choi, Jim Shepard, Aimee Bender, and Art Spiegelman.
Hardcover editions of the book will also include a CD compilation, with all new songs by the best musicians working. Among them: David Byrne, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Moby, Sleater-Kinney, Flaming Lips, Tom Waits, Yo La Tengo, Bright Eyes, They Might Be Giants, Elliott Smith, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.