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The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century Kindle Edition

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Length: 272 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Between the World and Me
2015 National Book Awards - Nonfiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for nonfiction, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

Editorial Reviews


"An impassioned, idealistic critique of the state of global politics and the deepening rift between those with power and those without."
The Guardian
"So bold, so full of incontestable truths and overwhelming convictions, that it should be read by every diplomat, politician and thinking citizen with the courage to pick it up."
—John le Carré
“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a more interesting, informing and inspiring book than ‘The Leaderless Revolution."
—Bill Moyers
“Intriguing … the author provides many fascinating personal insights into the crises not only in Iraq, but also Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mauretania and Sudan.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

 Carne Ross lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 620 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005X0JSKA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Traveler on January 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The philosophy outlined here presaged the sudden appearance and force of the Occupy Wall St. movement. Written with courage and candor by a former instrument of a nation (British diplomat, envoy to the UN}, it's revealing that the author not only regrets his past involvement with falsely justified and failed policy, but that he has come to reject the very notion of nation states' ability to solve any serious problems at all. Mr. Ross adroitly weaves in a narrative of his personal experiences, describing his attempts to mediate crises in the Balkans and the Middle East; hamstrung, as he came to understand, by his immersion in a myopic culture of modern noblesse oblige. There's insights throughout and even a constructive reinterpretation of the "Golden Rule" to be considered. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about why the multi-dimensional challenges we're facing aren't going to be addressed effectively by anyone in positions of power - now or evermore. Instead you'll learn how you might act yourself from your own convictions, and along with many others doing the same, effect the change we need.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is unfortunate that Amazon's superb "Look Inside the Book" has been limited by the publisher to only the introduction, as I would like the potential buyer to have a much greater feel for the book that the reviews or the few front pages can offer, before making a decision.

Here is the bottom line: nothing in this book is a new insight, and I am astonished by the claimed editorial reviews, as they seem oblivious of the decades of work by others in the areas of co-evolution, panarachy, collective intelligence, hybrid governance, open source everything, small is beautiful, human scale, Epoch B, resilience, intelligence at the edges of the network, etcetera. In other words, this book is more of a "quickie" book, not at all the "deeply researched" effort that is claimed, and it is at best a survey that barely scratches the surface of my two master lists, of lists of book reviews I have done here at Amazon, a means of reading all my reviews sorted into many categories (including the future of democracy, of capitalism, etcetera). The positive list is the one to focus on for everything that this author attempts to convey, and points to many of the sources that the book does not cite. Both lists were the foundation for my 2010 book listed below after my name. The negative list documents the obvious, but with a structure that has been lacking in critiques to date, most are incoherent for lack of an analytic model. To get to the link, just search for full name of the list as shown below.

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)

Now within the ten link limit that Amazon has established,

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry A. Moles on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ross has his sights set correctly on the inability of centralized authority to solve most of the global challenges confronting humankind. Governments have neither the knowledge of specific places under their control nor the money to make a difference. His insights as a former British diplomat are insightful and interesting. At the same time, the force of his essay falters at the end when he tries to craft a set of responses to the challenge. I'm glad I purchased and read the book, it is a useful touchstone in my work organizing local communities. Hopefully another author will pick up the theme and further expand the ideas with information on current movements towards local control whether in food production and distribution or dealing with other needed changes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Kline on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century by Carne Ross, [...] , Blue Rider Press, 2011, 244 pages.
As a child Carne Ross dreamed of being in the British Foreign Service. The dream slowly turned into a nightmare as he became convinced that governments and organizations of governments are the problem and not the solution. He thinks people need to represent themselves and set the agenda. Representative democracy represents the elite and the power structure. Our representatives say "elect me and I will solve the problem". But Ross says they cannot. Only we can set the agenda and define what we need and what needs to be done. When we defer to authority we abandon our personal integrity, humanity and empathy. Then we can do terrible things. Stanley Milgram's experiment [...], had actors playing the role of both the authority and the victim but the person being asked to give a "potentially fatal dose of electricity" believed it was real. The experiment showed that ordinary people, if told by an authority to give a "fatal" dose of electricity and if the authority took "full" responsible for the result, 65% would give the potentially "fatal" dose of 450-volts and only one participant refused to go beyond 300-volts. At 300-volts the supposed victim screamed and begged for the experiment to stop.
Ross was one of only two British Foreign Service members to resign over the lies that led to the second Iraq war.
In his preface Ross says, "Things do not seem to be going as planned. The system is broken. Meant to bring order, it formants instead disorder. We need something new. The end of the Cold War was supposed to presage the triumph of democracy and with it, stability.
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