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Rebuild the Dreamby Van Jones
Synopses & Reviews
The American Dream” is the national ethos of the United States. Its the dream of a country where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can live with dignity, provide for your family, prosper, and give your children a better life. Its also the uniting principle that a country that strives for greatness must also take care of its most vulnerable in times of hardship and need. But right now the American Dream is an illusion. Tens of millions of willing workers cant find jobs. Millions of homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure and millions more are underwater. Instead of investing in our shared future, politicians are giving tax breaks to the rich and then slashing vital services families depend on. Rather than expanding protections for the middle class during these difficult economic times, workers rights are being gutted and public unions are under siege.
But a new movement Rebuild the Dream — is rising all across America. Its a movement that is growing stronger by the day, and will continue to gain momentum until regular Americans can find jobs, afford to go to college, retire with dignity, and secure a future for their children and their communities.
It was born among the teachers, students, firefighters and nurses of Wisconsin who took over their Capitol to stop Governor Walkers power grab. Now its spreading as millions of other Americansinspired by the events in Madison, Wisconsinstand up to say No” to right-wing attacks on the middle class. Van Jones bestselling author, former Green Jobs Czar to President Obama, and human rights pioneer is channeling this new wave of energy. Rebuild The Dream part memoir, part manifesto forms the core of this exciting movement. Rather than casting todays political battles as familiar fights between liberals and conservatives, or even as a tug of war between Wall Street and Main Street, Jones presents the conflict in more dire terms: cheap patriotism versus deep patriotism. At stake: the survival of the American Dream itself.
Outraged by the escalating attacks on Americas middle class and working families, Rebuild the Dream issues a bold defense of the progressive values that made the 20th Century an American Century. Rejecting the fashionable mantra of cut-backs and austerity, Jones makes the case for public policies and investments that will create 10 million, good-paying American jobs. Along the way, he argues that the 21st Century can be the Second American Century, if the deep patriots stay true to the American ideal of liberty and justice for all.” And perhaps most surprisingly Jones extracts powerful insights from the success of the tea party movement.
In Rebuild the Dream, Jones spells out how a renewed movement, grounded in tough-minded American idealism, can once again inspire millions to come together and offer real solutions to Americas toughest problems.
In the face of Wall Streets recklessness, Washingtons negligence and the tea parties belligerence, President Obamas former Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones sets forth a bold new manifesto that reclaims the American Dream on behalf of all working Americans
Van Jones has made it his lifes work to speak truth to power.”
Nancy Pelosi, Time Magazine
In the national bestseller, green economy pioneer Van Jones reflects on his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider, and why he chose to resign his post and found Rebuild the Dream, an initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity. Drawing on his own experiences Jones explains how the hope” bubble burst—and how We, the People,” can renew the American Dream.
Rebuild the Dream . . . seeks to harness the insurgent energies expressed by the Occupy movement into lasting institutional reform”
—Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone
[A] blueprint for grassroots action to restore the economy . . . . The book is a companion piece to Jones activities since leaving the White House and his new rock-star status within the progressive movement.”
In Rebuild the Dream, green economy pioneer Van Jones reflects on his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider. For the first time, he shares intimate details of his time in government – and reveals why he chose to resign his post as a special advisor to the Obama White House.
Jones puts his hard-won lessons to good use, proposing a powerful game plan to restore hope, fix our democracy and renew the American Dream.
The American Dream means different things to people, but the center of gravity is always the same: an ordinary person—who was not born with great wealth, but who is willing to work hard and play by the rules—should be able to find employment, live in a good community, make progress financially, retire with dignity, and give his or her children a better life.
That dream is fading. On Main Street, too many people are working harder than ever – while falling further behind. They play by the rules, but cannot succeed. At the same time, other Americans, including the worst of Wall Street, break every rule, but cannot fail – because someone has already decided that they are “too big” to fail. The American Dream has been turned upside down and inside out. It is time to set things right.
As the first Obama administration official to write a book about his experiences, Jones offers a unique perspective. In explaining why the 2008 “hope” bubble burst, he unveils the seven biggest mistakes made by the White House and its supporters.
He explores the origin and fate of the movements that helped to elect President Obama, as well as those that have challenged and shaped his presidency. Along the way, Jones systematically reveals surprising parallels between Obama’s people-powered campaign, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.
At this pivotal moment, Jones argues that we must make our economy respect the 99% and work for the 100%, not just the 1%. He proposes serious solutions that fit the scale of our problems. Rebuild the Dream sets forth bold ideas inspired by the progressive values that made the twentieth century the “American Century.” It shows how key public policies and investments can create millions of good, American jobs.
America is still the best idea in the world. The American middle class is still her greatest invention. Rebuild the Dream is dedicated to the proposition that – with the right strategy– both can be preserved and strengthened for generations to come.
About the Author
Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Van is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the Special Advisor for Green Jobs in the Obama White House in 2009. Jones is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All.
In 2010-11, Van held a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Van is on the board of several organizations and non-profits, including Demos, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and the Campaign for America's Future.
Jones lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and children.
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