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Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics Paperback – July 23, 2008


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Who Built That
Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom
Jay Sekulow has strong opinions on personal liberties as they relate to the power of government. Find out more about Jay Sekulow and his latest book.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Start Making Sense is an opening salvo from a chorus of bold American thinkers, writers, and activists on how citizens can deliver U.S. politics from fear and fundamentalism. The message from the leading voices of the new progressive movement is clear: It's time to stop doing politics as usual. Start Making Sense brings together the best progressive thinkers, critics, and organizers to and offers creative ways to think about organizing, communicating, and investing in the structures and resources required for a lasting, truly democratic grassroots movement. Let's turn the lessons from election 2004 into winning progressive politics!

About the Author

Don Hazen is the executive director of the Independent Media Institute and the executive editor of AlterNet. The former publisher of Mother Jones magazine, he has edited several books, most recently After 9/11: Solutions for a Saner World.

Lakshmi Chaudhry is a senior editor at AlterNet. Previously a staff writer at Wired News, she has written for various publications including Mother Jones, The Village Voice, Bitch, and Ms.Magazine. She is coauthor of AlterNet’s book, The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq.

Other contributors to the book include: Arianna Huffington • Amy Goodman • Thomas Frank • Naomi Klein • Barbara Ehrenreich • Farai Chideya • George Lakoff • Ken Salazar • Tom Hayden • and other leading progressive activists, thinkers, and writers.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (July 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931498849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931498845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mick McAllister on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Anthologies usually are a mixed bag. If half the essays are interesting, you are doing pretty well. And there's always at least one that is a total waste of time.

This is the exception we hope for. There is not a page of the book that doesn't either illuminate an exciting idea, provide a useful fact, or suggest a promising course of action. Every sort of thing is here from the course-defining DNC speech of Barack Obama to a list of topics you could hook Letters to the Editor on for various holidays. (Mother's Day? Social Security, Medicare, Parenting.)

The book is divided into three sections and ten topics. The first section analyzes what has happened. It asks some hard questions, like what it might cost us to adopt Conservative means to our Liberal ends ("Fighting Dirty"). There is a handful of tough essays in here, like Michael Lerner's on Liberal contempt for the electorate (which is significantly different from, though no bigger than, Conservative contempt for the electorate). But the overall message is one of hope and optimism. The last section emphasizes organizing and suggests ways to do it.

This book and George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant (also from Chelsea Green) will pay for themselves in a few hours. We got angry; now it's time to get active. Start Making Sense will provide some direction.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alpha B. Quincy on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of good ideas written by people who know! The articles are short and most worthwhile for anyone who wants to know what happened at the last election and what might be done next time! I have rated it only four stars because the book itself is hard to hold and the print is too close to the spine to open wide enough.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Price on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a great book. A great analysis of the condition of civil activism post 2004 Presidential Elections. I've read this book three times already.
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5 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on May 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
You don't really know what happened until the books come out. And this is the first book I've seen on what happened in the last election from the point of view of the Democrats. It is fascinating to see what they are thinking happened. This book is not written by the main powers within the Democratic party, but of people from numerous organizations that participate within the framework of the party.

While getting their viewpoint is fascinating, unfortunately I don't believe that they have "Started Making Sense" just yet.

For instance one of the sections is on the Iraq war. The consensus is that we should pull out immediately. The comment is then made, "if they choose civil war, it will be their civil war."

Let's see what could happen. The Shiite's have most of the population, they start a genocide of the Sunni's. The Sunni's call on Syria (predominately Sunni) who responds by sending an army to kill Shiite's. The Shiite's call on Iran (predominately Shiite) who sends another army. This expands all over the Middle East, oil flow stops and gasoline goes to $100 a gallon. Not a good plan Democrats!

Further, it seems that the main complaint is that some 1,600 American soldiers have been killed. Tragic, true, but. That's about ten days of what we kill on American highways. Where is the demand for safer cars, lower speed limits, etc. It seems that these people segregate deaths into OK (car accidents) or evil (military).

There's a section in the book on environmentalism, and their mantra is the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gasses and global warming. Out here in the west where mining is king, people are very happy with the Kyoto protocol. Uranium, you see, has gone from $6 to $21 and the mines are going full boom.
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