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

3.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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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 MoveOn.org, 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.

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: #1,197,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. F. Smith VINE VOICE on March 13, 2008
Format: Paperback 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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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This is the modern Progressive Bible, and as I recommend Christians read the Koran, so too I recommend Conservatives to read this work. But it is not easy -- this book is very, very poorly written, and only a mother believing her 15 year-old son had written it could love it. This work is a monument to the fuzzy thinking of Progressives, and Progressives should buy up all the copies and burn them.

First, the work is encyclopedic, yet there is no index. If the reader wants to see what the author, a convicted felon, has to say about the role of religion, well, I guess you will just have to read all 575 pages. And frankly, most of the facts the author presents are simply wrong, from the Confederates losing 60% of the men in Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, to defining traditional American values as "progressive" and the battle being between them and the "values of radical conservatives." Wow! With that statement on page 349, the Progressives are defenders of traditional values -- you know, the ones the Progressives are always belittling and trying to change, but which those radical people who believe in defending the Constitution, individual liberty, and all those outmoded concepts, are apparently (in the author's opinion) trying to eliminate.

In fact, probably most of the book is a compendium of lies, and the value in reading is to understand the strategy of the Progressives to ALWAYS frame the debate in words to their own advantage, even if the characterization of your opponent's position is an outright lie. Lying doesn't matter -- the end justifies the means. Gee, where have I heard that before?
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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 MoveOn.org, 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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