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Rebuild the Dream Hardcover – April 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568587147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568587141
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Van Jones has made it his life’s work to speak truth to power”—Nancy Pelosi in Time Magazine "Van Jones is an American treasure … one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here.”—Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President, on CNN.com “Van has successfully brought together urban youth with clean-tech entrepreneurs, labor leaders with business leaders, civil rights activists with environmentalists.”—Arianna Huffington, on the Huffington Post “Van Jones is an exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country.”—John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
“Van Jones has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and environmental progress to some of the poorest communities in our nation. His dedication and leadership are exactly what we need more of in Washington.”
—Justin Ruben, Executive Director of Moveon.org

“Jones is an extraordinarily important leader. He cares, passionately, about helping young men and women find their way in the world, even if they had the misfortune to grow up in bad neighborhoods or make bad choices – and he sees in a new green economy a powerful instrument to heal their lives.”
—Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

“This guy is a Yale-educated lawyer, he is a best-selling authority about his specialty.”
—Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, Presidential Candidate and Chair of the Democratic National Committee

“Van is a gifted leader of ideas and of action. He makes connections, thinks beyond the box, and inspires others to join… He inspired people across the country with the insight that the transition to a sustainable economy could be the greatest jobs program since the mobilization for World War II – and that we could insure that those who were left out of the old economy could be central to the green jobs of the new economy.”
—Robert Borosage, President of Institute for America’s Future

“Van Jones, one of the most effective organizers and strategists on the left, is out with a new book. Rebuild the Dream, which debuted last week on the New York Times bestseller list… seeks to harness the insurgent energies expressed by the Occupy movement into lasting institutional reform.”—Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone “Activists know that building mass movements entails a variety of cognitive and action steps. Sometimes it is useful for a skilled activist like Van Jones to provide us with a framework for discussing how to proceed. Rebuild the Dream does that. It would be a good resource for study group discussion.”—Harry Targ, professor of political science at Purdue University, via The Rag Blog “In Rebuild the Dream, Jones joins other contemporary political figures in seeking an ideology-free politics powerful enough to unite people of all walks of life in the mission to achieve some moderately liberal objectives.”—People’s World.com “Jones deftly explains the rise and failings of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements in objective but engaging language that illuminates American’s shared experiences and hopes across the ideological divides fracturing us.”—Joseph Bloodworth, Dominion of New York (online) “In his new book, Rebuild the Dream, former special advisor to the Obama White House Van Jones drafts a thoughtful plan for the reconstruction of the simple American ideals and principles that secure the dream of a better life for everyone willing to work hard and play fair. With a vision centered on the benefits of a fully integrated green economy and practices of sustainable living, Jones’s book offers a detailed analysis of the circumstances that led to rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The author also provides a game plan for political activists looking to transform hope into lasting change and get the U.S. economy working again for everyone.”—James Edward Mills, Sierra Club Green Blog “Anyone whom Glenn Beck considers an anarchist radical, a black liberation theologian, a black nationalist and an avowed communist is clearly someone with a story worth hearing. And former Barack Obama advisor Van Jones, whom Beck drove from the White House with relentless, racist, red-baiting attacks in 2009, is telling his now.”—Bloomington Alternative (online) “Van Jones is back with a message for disappointed progressives, Occupy Wall Street and other ‘post-‘Hope’ Democrats still looking to President Barack Obama for the change they voted for in 2008: Get over it. . . . Jones’ new book, “Rebuild the Dream,” [is] his blueprint for grassroots action to restore the economy as well as attempt to turn Obama into the kind of president they want. The book is a companion piece to Jones’ activities since leaving the White House — and his new rock-star status within the progressive movement.”—Politico “[M]ore political prescription than memoir. . . . [Jones] is trying to push that agenda from the outside, by seeking to better organize various progressive movements that include the Occupy efforts, labor, women, environmentalists, civil rights supporters, and peace activists.”—USA Today “Rebuild offers a fairly honest critique of Obama's successes and failures during the president's first year in office.”—San Francisco Bay Guardian “In the end, Rebuild The Dream, like its author, is optimistic. Jones saw the rallies in 2008, the football stadiums filled to overflow capacity with cheering, hopeful, energized voters who were demanding change.”—Jeff Turrentine, ONEARTH Blog “In Rebuild the Dream, Jones explains seven crucial missteps by the White House and by social change movements since 2008 and analyzes the rise of the tea party and occupy movements. He lays out a strategic game plan for the next chapter—turning anger into action, protest into power and suffering into solutions. It is a road map to re-energizing the progressive movement.”—Mike Hall for the AFL-CIO “A confident clarion call sure to arouse controversy in this election year.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[T]his is a must-read book for the renewable energy industry.”—Joanna Schroeder, Domestic Fuel.com

“Van is a gifted leader of ideas and of action. He makes connections, thinks beyond the box, and inspires others to join… He inspired people across the country with the insight that the transition to a sustainable economy could be the greatest jobs program since the mobilization for World War II – and that we could insure that those who were left out of the old economy could be central to the green jobs of the new economy."—Robert Borosage, President of Institute for America’s Future “Let me just say that Van Jones is a very, very intelligent man. A Yale graduate, someone who came up from the public schools of Jackson, Tenn. to make something of himself. People have a deep and abiding respect for his expertise for on the environment.”—Donna Brazile, CNN Political Commentator/Political Strategist “I introduced Van, noting our past differences and my great admiration for his vision, passion and intelligence. I was amazed by his new vision – green-collar jobs – and the collaborative way he was building a movement to work with the system to make a difference for the planet and low-income people. Later that night, he shared with me his leadership journey during the 10 years since we met, how he had learned and grown. I saw his impressive charisma, intellect, and passion gain from the addition of humility, wisdom, and collaborative orientation.”—Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies “[Van is] in fact a Yale-educated attorney, best-selling author, and one of the most strategic minds in contemporary politics…he has been fighting for a lifetime to try and improve the world around him – most recently by pushing for green jobs and pathways out of poverty for millions of people around this country of ours.”—Gillian Caldwell, Campaign Director, 1Sky “We didn’t agree, a lot of times on things, we still don’t agree on things sometimes. I think I’ve helped him understand a different perspective, he’s certainly helped me understand a different perspective. He’ll find something in your background, something that you’ve answered, that he can connect with... He really truly wants to make a difference; he is committed to leaving this world a better place."—Jerald Ogg, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Martin “Van Jones is not a leader in our movement in the past tense. He is still a leader and an inspiring figure and we have no doubt that he is just getting started in terms of the leadership he will provide in this movement.”—Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition “At the Ella Baker Center For Human Rights, he and the brilliant organizers there helped develop the model project in Oakland that linked green job training to unemployed inner city youths… Van was building national networks and a bipartisan, multiracial consensus.”—Jeff Chang, Author/Activist

About the Author

Van Jones is founding president of Rebuild the Dream, a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity. He is the co-founder of three, thriving organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. Jones is the author of the "New York Times" best seller, "The Green Collar Economy."A Yale-educated attorney, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House in 2009. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending. "Time Magazine" has named Jones one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Rebuild the Dream is a strategy and action center that is rapidly emerging as a major force in the fight to rescue America's middle class. Launched in June 2011, the organization is already more 600,000 members strong, with a presence in every Congressional District. To join the movement, go to RebuildTheDream.com.

More About the Author

Van Jones is founding president of Rebuild the Dream, a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity. He is the co-founder of three, thriving organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. Jones is the author of the New York Times best seller, The Green Collar Economy.

A Yale-educated attorney, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House in 2009. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending. Time Magazine has named Jones one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

We live at a time when far too few of us can make sense of what's happening around us.
Mal Warwick
In the book, Van Jones lays out strategies and gives a lot of inspiration on effective ways to get voters organized for political expression.
BrewPubNate
Well thought out n written book with many fact checking measures that are accurate n justified.
Bill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Silence Dogood on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally, a book that makes sense of what happened to the movement for hope and change! If you wonder where all the magic from Obama's campaign went, this book is for you.

The book gives a great history of all the social movements that led up to Obama, and it really reminds you that the grassroots people were becoming very powerful even before he ran. I had almost forgotten about the anti Iraq War movement, Howard Dean, Al Gore and everything that laid the ground for Obama to run. The author does a good job of showiing how citizens' movements mattter in many ways.

The middle of the book is my favorite part. It has very helpful charts to compare and contrast Obama, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. This shows some very original thinking, which I have not seen anywhere else.

I will admit that I expected a nasty, bitter, tell-all kind of book, because I knew that he had worked for Obama and maybe left on bad terms. Or else, I expected it to just defend Obama and attack conservatives.

Instead, he seems to be coming from a place of really trying to understand everything that has been happening. He explains new terms like "swarm theory" and "open source branding" very well, as they relate to politics. He has good and bad things to say about a broad variety of topics, including both the left and the right.

It is kind of harsh when he calls the Tea Party "cheap patriots," but then he proves his point. I think the author is very brave for writing a book like this.

I did not know what to expect, but reading this book made me feel sad that someone like him is not in the government. I hope Obama will put him back in the cabinet after he gets re-elected.
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158 of 183 people found the following review helpful By R. Sampson on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Rebuild the Dream" offers Van Jones' ideas on how to build a political movement that focuses on restoring the American Dream. The book begins with an interesting personal account that includes Jones' experiences in the Obama administration and the famous encounter with Glen Beck's irrational extremism.

Next it offers a detailed critique of Obama in both campaign and governing mode. Jones does a good job of highlighting the areas where the administration has succeeded and also where it has failed. Two of the most important failures Jones notes include going too easy on the banks, and not recognizing the potential of the Tea Party right at the beginning when the movement was in its infancy.

Much of the book focuses on the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, and the differences and similarities between these two movements. Jones also gives a lot of attention to his "grid theory" of politics which involves the continuum between emotional and rational, and between ideas and action. Much of this is perhaps mostly of interest to those who are really into political activism, but the central idea is very important: An emotional narrative will ALWAYS trump facts. As Jones points out, especially in the internet age, people can always find their own "facts" to support their preconceived notions. Politics is about telling a story that resonates with people.

The book is primarily about how to build a political movement and connect with people, rather than on specific policy ideas for rebuilding the American Dream. However, toward the end, Jones does offer some prescriptions. Most of these are good ideas, but they are also very conventional progressive ideas, including of course, investment in green technologies.
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94 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Levi P. on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Rebuild the Dream", Van Jones gives a much more nuanced and insightful perspective on the current Obama administration than you hear from your average political commentator. I don't agree with all his opinions and conclusions, particularly his criticisms of Organizing for America (full disclosure: I was active with OFA in 2009 and 2010), but getting the view from a White House insider is quite illuminating and helped me to better understand the thinking behind the decisions and some of the missteps that were made, both inside and outside of the administration.

I also found his ideas on where we go from here to be particularly compelling. Too often, you get a critique of a broken system without any clear way of how to fix it. Van's vision for rebuilding the U.S. economy to achieve a "21st century American Dream" makes me think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel after all.

All in all, "Rebuild the Dream" is definitely worth the read.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By cm on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book not only gives insight into the inspiring movement that led to the election of President Obama, but also provides a sensible analysis of the backlash that followed. Van Jones reminds us in Rebuild the Dream that it is people who make things happen. And he offers us a clear path forward -- one that will enable us to regain a sense of momentum, of positivity, of innovation, and belief in ourselves to create a better world for the next generation.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful By William Upski Wimsatt on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Van Jones is one of my living heroes. He is simply one of our best thinkers and leaders. He consistently produces some of the highest quality, most original, analysis and strategic thinking anyone is doing about America and how we rebuild it in the 21st Century. The book is a must read for anyone who cares about our country. I am buying copies as gifts for everyone I know.
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