Synopses & Reviews
Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad
is a little book with a big message. Frances Moore Lappe author of sixteen books, including three-million-copy bestseller Diet for a Small Planet
distills her world-spanning experience and wisdom in a conversational yet hard-hitting style. Getting a Grip is a rare "aha" book that flouts conventional right-versus-left divisions and affirms readers' basic sanity their intuition that it is possible to stop grasping at straws and to grasp instead the real roots of today's crises, from hunger and poverty to climate change and terrorism. Getting a Grip
leaves readers feeling liberated and courageous.
Because we are creatures of the mind, says Lappe, it is the power of "frame" our core assumptions about how the world works that determines outcomes. She pinpoints the dominant, failing frame now driving our planet toward disaster. Then, with fresh insights, startling facts, and stirring vignettes of ordinary people pursuing creative solutions, Lappe uncovers a new, empowering frame emerging worldwide.
She writes: "My book's intent is to enable us to see what is happening all around us, but is still invisible to most of us. It is about people in all walks of life who are penetrating the spiral of despair and reversing it with new ideas, ingenious innovation and courage."
"'This determinedly optimistic manifesto-cum-workbook by the author of Diet for a Small Planet begins with the question, 'Why are we as societies creating a world that we as individuals abhor?' Lapp posits that U.S. culture is grounded in a worldview of scarcity, creating a society of 'competitive materialists' who practice a 'Thin Democracy' of electoral politics in a 'one rule' market economy that returns wealth to wealth and leads to an ever-increasing concentration of power.' Yet she believes there is 'no reason we can't' create a values-guided, empowering democracy based on the premise of 'plenty,' where individuals and communities take charge of public life and engage in active listening, conflict mediation, dialogue and judgment. Full of charts comparing 'Thin Democracy' constructs with 'Living Democracy' alternatives, and ending with a study guide for community 'Group Talk,' the book includes numerous examples of people practicing 'Living Democracy,' from Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, instigator of the international microcredit movement, to School Mediation Associates, which teaches conflict resolution and peer mediations skills. Unfortunately, Lapp's coverage of many of these inspiring stories is unintelligibly thin, too often referring readers to her Web site for backup.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lappe's treatise on humanity's potential for growth is a comforting source of inspiration." Booklist
"I love Getting a Grip...great positive energy that awakens us to a whole new way to think and to act. Read it now." Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Author, Failing the Faithful
"Lappe rallies her readers, striking a welcome tone of hope and optimism, and many of her reframing techniques are compelling and inspiring." Library Journal
"Getting a Grip is not an ordinary book: it's more like a new pair of glasses, allowing you to see everything around you with greater clarity. Suddenly the world is more comprehensible, more manageable, even more beautiful. You won't want to take them off." Barbara Kingsolver
"A fresh look constructed by an original mind, a woman who is grappling with real life problems worldwide and who is pragmatic and out-of-the-box in seeing where entry points for change can be made....If this book isn’t inspirational and helpful, then I don’t know what is." David Belder, in Tikkun
"Lappé has succeeded, masterfully. No popular intellectual has been so very successful in reshaping the character and content of debates about environmental and food policy as this remarkable woman. She is saying what every presidential candidate should, and she is doing so with the boldness that is required." John Nichols, The Nation
"An absolute must read! Very inspiring and empowering. It makes you want to jump out of your seat and do something that will better our world." Lina Musayev, Co-founder of United Students for Fair Trade
"A terrific book. It is clear and handy, smart and not intimidating." Kaethe Weingarten, author of Common Shock
"Lappé reaffirms people's capacity for creating a good world out of the calamities disease, poverty, animal extinction endured by our current one. [Included are] plenty of anecdotes of how people, relying on their 'basic sanity,' can successfully meet the challenges of globalism and world terrorism." Foreword