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The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the Twenty-First Centuryby Carne Ross
Synopses & Reviews
“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a more interesting, informing, and inspiring book than The Leaderless Revolution.” —Bill Moyers
What can we do beyond Occupy Wall Street? Political and economic systems are failing us, and it’s time for citizens to create change—individually and collaboratively. In The Leaderless Revolution, Carne Ross sounds a call to action. With dramatic stories from the United States and around the world, Ross’s analysis contrasts with the naïve, Panglossian optimism of globalization boosters like Thomas Friedman. Uncontrolled economic volatility, perpetual insecurity, rampant inequality, and accelerating climate change are heading us into a dangerous period of prolonged crisis. Ross—a former British diplomat to Iraq who resigned over his nation’s involvement in the U.S.-led invasion—draws from his own experiences to offer an empowering new vision of how we can put things right.
"Writing before the Occupy movement erupted, Ross (Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite) explores how the current interconnectedness of the world provides a fecund framework for leaderless revolutions, and why we should take advantage of it. Drawing on his experience as a former British diplomat, Ross believes we need to replace the current political system with what Stanford Professor James Fishkin calls 'deliberative democracy,' wherein a representative sample of individuals are brought together to decide on an issue. Ross wants people to take back the power from special interest groups and lobbyists and make their own decisions in a collaborative environment, trusting people to manage their own affairs. He cites successful examples in post-Katrina New Orleans (where 92% of involved citizens supported the 'Unified Plan' for rebuilding the city) and in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Though Ross urges individuals to act, he provides no real specifics on how to proceed beyond encouraging people to locate their convictions, 'ct as if the means are the end,' and use nonviolence. It may be that the leaderless nature of the revolution prevents Ross from being too prescriptive, but readers expecting a precise answer to the titular 'How' will be disappointed. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Leaderless Revolution explains why our government institutions are inadequate to the task of solving major problems and offers a set of steps we can take to create lasting and workable solutions ourselves. In taking these steps, we can not only reclaim the control we have lost, but also a sense of meaning and community so elusive in the current circumstance. In a day and age when things feel bleak and beyond our control, this powerful and personal book will revive one's sense of hope that a better, more just and equitable order lies within our reach-if only we are willing to grasp it.
About the Author
Carne Ross was a high-flying British diplomat who focused on many of the world's toughest issues, including Afghanistan, terrorism, and climate change. After working on Iraqi WMD and sanctions, he was one of only two British diplomats to resign over the 2003 Iraq War. That experience forced him to confront the deeper problems of a volatile, globalized world. A frequent commentator on current affairs on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera, and a contributor to The Guardian, Ross also founded, and now runs, Independent Diplomat, an advisory group that assists democratic countries and political groups around the world. He lives in New York City.
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