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Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win Paperback – November 20, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 618 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Locks Press (November 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979585295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979585296
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


If Progressives are ready to move beyond the Age of W into a winning era, they can start with Stand Up Straight. This is more than a call to arms. This is a battle plan from one of the best campaign minds in America. Bob Creamer takes his readers from values to votes with practical tactics and insight gathered over decades of experience. This book is for players...spectators need not apply. - Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senate Democratic Whip --Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senate Democratic Whip

If every activist in America read Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight, we could change our country. This book will help bring on the New Progressive Era. It's that good - Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) --Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Bob Creamer has been at the center of every major progressive political movement in America for four decades. If anyone in America knows how to run and win issue campaigns it is Bob. Stand Up Straight is nothing less than the bible for progressive political activists. - Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change --Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change

About the Author

AUTHOR BIO: Robert Creamer has been a political organizer and strategist for almost four decades. He and his firm, the Strategic Consulting Group, work with many of the country s most significant issue campaigns. He was one of the major architects and organizers of the successful campaign to defeat the privatization of Social Security. He is a consultant to the campaigns to end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, change America s budget priorities and enact comprehensive immigration reform. His clients have included labor unions, public interest groups, and advocacy organizations like, Americans United for Change and USAction. He has also worked on hundreds of electoral campaigns at the local, state and national levels. Creamer is married to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.

Customer Reviews

If you cannot accept that point of view, you will not like this book at all.
L. F. Smith
This book was a great learning experience for me and I highly recommend it to any one of any party affiliation.
M. A. Filippelli
First off, the table of contents and the index are sufficient for a book, but not an encyclopedia.
Michael Heath

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By L. F. Smith VINE VOICE on March 13, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an interesting book that will probably be very useful to its target audience: "...young people who are considering a life-long commitment to the progressive cause, and for anyone who is curious about how voters make political decisions and what is involved in organizing for change." However, it is also an odd book, to the point of being irritating.

Creamer has, in effect, produced a combination of two books. One is a how-to manual for progressive activists; the other is a rationale for progressive policies and a call to arms for those who favor those policies. Unfortunately, the combination doesn't work particularly well here. One would expect the rationale to come before the how-to manual, but for some unfathomable reason, Creamer does it the other way around. In addition, he really needs some editorial help; the copy design of the book is grotesque, with weird indentation patterns, combinations of bulleted and numbered lists, willy-nilly bold-facing, italics, and underlining-- and sometimes all three together-- and odd rhetorical jumps from chapter to chapter. Finally, the book is too long, at 600+ pages.

In short, this is a book you have to really want to read, or you just won't finish it. That may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your point of view.

Creamer is an unapologetic advocate for the progressive cause. (By the way, as he explains about 500 pages into the book, "progressive" means "liberal"; the "radical conservatives" have successfully made "liberal" a pejorative, so the liberals can't use that word any more.) He's spent his life as a political organizer, and he uses that experience to illustrate the points he's making with interesting anecdotes.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Michael Heath VINE VOICE on February 17, 2008
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I cannot recommend this book. While I enjoyed the conversational style of the author and appreciate the need for the older Dems to communicate some strategic and tactical advice to young people in the party so their campaign efforts are effective, this book doesn't execute on its objective.

Its primary draw back is its length given the format as a book. The author and editor decided to take a conversational style (book) and create an encyclopedic length survey of every little fundamental issue a Democratic campaign should consider in the modern day. First off, the table of contents and the index are sufficient for a book, but not an encyclopedia. So the reader is left with a 600+ page book with very few devices to reference the issues they're interested in researching if they're able to finish it, causing it to fail as an encyclopedia. The hefty length of the book and its conversational tone is like reading a really, really, long blog post - you don't, read it that is.

If Creamer is truly dedicated to the subject matter, I recommend he revise the book, either make it an easy to reference research source, or slash two-thirds of the material and make it a call to arms for a certain style of campaign or agenda, either - not both.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on January 9, 2008
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Progressives are finally starting to get their act together, with serious thinkers bringing forth new political strategies and platforms that are dying to be put into action by a new generation of passionate activists. Here Creamer compiles the latest progressive talking points into a fairly serviceable encyclopedia, backed up with many of his own success stories as an activist and consultant. Creamer adds a few good pointers of his own, particularly when it comes to beating the conservatives at their own games of framing, organizing, and coalition building. Near the end of the book, Creamer also puts together outstanding platforms, based on current progressive thought, for health care and foreign policy. However, those new items are pretty rare in this ridiculously padded and repetitive book (though the padding and repetition might be excusable if one uses the book as an activist's encyclopedia). Creamer's basic points keep popping up again and again over nearly 600 pages, with far too much compiling of the ideas of others, adding up to recycling and hindsight rather than synthesis or development.

Creamer spends far too many pages forwarding the prior material of progressive thinkers like sociologist Malcolm Gladwell and linguist George Lakoff. Creamer also delves into other fields to explain modern political behavior, utilizing vast amounts of material from historian Jared Diamond, management expert Clayton Christensen, and even astronomer David Grinspoon, but yet again merely repeats previous works (including more than two entire chapters on Diamond's theories) with which most of this book's readers will already be familiar. Several later chapters destroy a lot of trees by repeating very basic progressive opinions on problems like the environment, war, economics, and justice.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. GROENHAGEN on November 8, 2013
Verified Purchase
I believe this book should be a must-read for CONSERVATIVES/CONSTITUTIONALISTS. Creamer’s 628-page book is full of lies, misrepresentations, and distortions. It is also poorly edited. For example, he refers to Harold Washington, the late mayor of Chicago, as “Herald Washington,” and notes that our closest animal relatives are “guerrillas, chimpanzees and the baboons of Africa.” Nevertheless, Creamer’s book is an invaluable resource for constitutionalists.

Creamer has spent more than four decades in community organizing. His “first serious issue campaign involved pollution and the legendary community organizer Saul Alinsky.” He later joined Illinois Public Action, “the progressive coalition,” which he directed for many years. While at Illinois Public Action, Creamer met and married DSAer Jan Schakowsky. Schakowsky is currently a U.S. representative and a vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). CPC is aligned with Democratic Socialists of America, which, in turn, is part of the Socialist International. The roots of the Socialist International go all the way back to Karl Marx.

The first few pages of Stand Up Straight! include words of praise from many individuals representing groups that make up the Socialist Coalition. These individuals include John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, Heather Booth and Jackie Kendall of the Midwest Academy, Wes Boyd of, Chuck Loveless and John Cameron of AFSCME, Greg Gazzullo of the Gamaliel Foundation, Roger Hickey and Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future, David Axelrod, Jeff Blum and William McNary of USAction, CPC members Reps. Jim McGovern John Lewis, Andy Stern of SEIU, and Miles Rapoport of Demos.
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