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Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford Studies in Digital Politics) Paperback – August 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Studies in Digital Politics
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (August 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199936781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199936786
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Politics and the Internet seem today to have been made for one another, as analyses, rebuttals, gaffes and innuendo fly across the web, feeding an insatiable demand for 'news.' In his vivid analysis of the Dean and Obama campaigns, Dan Kreiss reveals how political advocacy and social media were first harnessed and mobilized, as new media tools and field operations were yoked together in ways that ultimately transformed how candidates compete for office. This marriage of computation and empowerment makes for odd bedfellows, and its wide-ranging consequences for politics are deftly assessed in this rich study."--Walter W. Powell, Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

"Online media excite and confuse political candidates and electorates. In Taking Our Country Back, Daniel Kreiss offers a sophisticated and engaging account of the place networked media occupy in politics. Kreiss combines empirical data with theoretically informed insights to tell the story of contemporary networked politics. This is pioneering work and an essential read for all interested in politics and public life." --Zizi Papacharissi, Professor of Communication, University of Illinois-Chicago

The manner in which he balances his complicity with scholarly critique in [the] opening chapter sells the book as a work of skilled ethnography. I think it likely that Taking Our Country Back ... will become a core text in courses and discussions of 21st century political campaigning."--Josh Braun's blog

"This is an important and detailed history of networked politics in the US. ...Highly Recommended."--CHOICE

"The book's meticulous tracking of various technologies, firms, and staffers' careers contextualizes how the successful 2008 Obama campaign stood on the virtual shoulders of the 2004 Dean campaign. Ultimately, Kreiss's findings fill a gap in extant research by exploring the interrelationship of new media nad politics through a lens primarily focused on those two campaigns... Kreiss's book offers to practitioners lessons learned from a decade of Democratic political online campaigns and provides scholars with a research agenda to further develop this important topic." -- Presidential Studies Quarterly

About the Author

Daniel Kreiss is Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

More About the Author

Daniel Kreiss is Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kreiss's research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. In his first book, Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford University Press, 2012), Kreiss presents the history of new media and Democratic Party political campaigning over the last decade. Kreiss is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and received a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jessreviews1 on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating look at the ways networks and technology are reshaping electoral politics. Kreiss is a great writer and knows what he's talking about. I'd highly recommend this book to all the politicos and techies out there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The advent of the Internet turned all previous thinking about political campaigning upside down on its head. The idea that websites, Facebook, online databases and other forms of social media could impact the results of an election has completely changed the way election campaigns are run. This book chronicles how the Democrats in the United States, starting with Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2003-04 and Barack Obama in 2008 developed their "New Media" strategies so as to marshal volunteer support in the campaign and to get supporters out to vote and gain an advantage over their political opponents.

While the book doesn't get too deep into the specifics of the tactics used, it chronicles the involvement of the key actors and the roles they played in the major developments. Reading between the lines, the reader can pick up some basic principles on how NOT to use New Media and how to use these tactics to advantage.

This is not, however, a book that you are going to read, digest, and remember in a day. It will take some re-reading of different sections to get the point and importance of what is being discussed. If you have the patience to do this, you'll get a good understanding of how the Internet and online databases changed the future of political organizing and campaigning. What the future holds for the inclusion of the Internet in political campaigns, only time will tell.
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