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.
“Van Jones has made it his life’s work to speak truth to power”—Nancy Pelosi in Time
Magazine "Van Jones is an American treasure … one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here.”—Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President, on CNN.com
“Van has successfully brought together urban youth with clean-tech entrepreneurs, labor leaders with business leaders, civil rights activists with environmentalists.”—Arianna Huffington, on the Huffington Post
“Van Jones is an exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country.”—John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
“Van Jones has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and environmental progress to some of the poorest communities in our nation. His dedication and leadership are exactly what we need more of in Washington.”
—Justin Ruben, Executive Director of Moveon.org
“Jones is an extraordinarily important leader. He cares, passionately, about helping young men and women find their way in the world, even if they had the misfortune to grow up in bad neighborhoods or make bad choices – and he sees in a new green economy a powerful instrument to heal their lives.”
—Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club
“This guy is a Yale-educated lawyer, he is a best-selling authority about his specialty.”
—Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, Presidential Candidate and Chair of the Democratic National Committee
“Van is a gifted leader of ideas and of action. He makes connections, thinks beyond the box, and inspires others to join… He inspired people across the country with the insight that the transition to a sustainable economy could be the greatest jobs program since the mobilization for World War II – and that we could insure that those who were left out of the old economy could be central to the green jobs of the new economy.”
—Robert Borosage, President of Institute for America’s Future
Van Jones has made it his lifes work to speak truth to power”Nancy Pelosi in Time
Magazine "Van Jones is an American treasure
one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here.”Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President, on CNN.com
Van has successfully brought together urban youth with clean-tech entrepreneurs, labor leaders with business leaders, civil rights activists with environmentalists.”Arianna Huffington, on the Huffington Post
Van Jones is an exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country.”John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
Van Jones has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and environmental progress to some of the poorest communities in our nation. His dedication and leadership are exactly what we need more of in Washington.”
Justin Ruben, Executive Director of Moveon.org
Jones is an extraordinarily important leader. He cares, passionately, about helping young men and women find their way in the world, even if they had the misfortune to grow up in bad neighborhoods or make bad choices and he sees in a new green economy a powerful instrument to heal their lives.”
Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club
This guy is a Yale-educated lawyer, he is a best-selling authority about his specialty.”
Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, Presidential Candidate and Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Van is a gifted leader of ideas and of action. He makes connections, thinks beyond the box, and inspires others to join
He inspired people across the country with the insight that the transition to a sustainable economy could be the greatest jobs program since the mobilization for World War II and that we could insure that those who were left out of the old economy could be central to the green jobs of the new economy.”
Robert Borosage, President of Institute for Americas Future
Van Jones, one of the most effective organizers and strategists on the left, is out with a new book. Rebuild the Dream, which debuted last week on the New York Times bestseller list
seeks to harness the insurgent energies expressed by the Occupy movement into lasting institutional reform.”Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone Activists know that building mass movements entails a variety of cognitive and action steps. Sometimes it is useful for a skilled activist like Van Jones to provide us with a framework for discussing how to proceed. Rebuild the Dream does that. It would be a good resource for study group discussion.”Harry Targ, professor of political science at Purdue University, via The Rag Blog In Rebuild the Dream, Jones joins other contemporary political figures in seeking an ideology-free politics powerful enough to unite people of all walks of life in the mission to achieve some moderately liberal objectives.”Peoples World.com Jones deftly explains the rise and failings of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements in objective but engaging language that illuminates Americans shared experiences and hopes across the ideological divides fracturing us.”Joseph Bloodworth, Dominion of New York (online) In his new book, Rebuild the Dream, former special advisor to the Obama White House Van Jones drafts a thoughtful plan for the reconstruction of the simple American ideals and principles that secure the dream of a better life for everyone willing to work hard and play fair. With a vision centered on the benefits of a fully integrated green economy and practices of sustainable living, Joness book offers a detailed analysis of the circumstances that led to rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The author also provides a game plan for political activists looking to transform hope into lasting change and get the U.S. economy working again for everyone.”James Edward Mills, Sierra Club Green Blog Anyone whom Glenn Beck considers an anarchist radical, a black liberation theologian, a black nationalist and an avowed communist is clearly someone with a story worth hearing. And former Barack Obama advisor Van Jones, whom Beck drove from the White House with relentless, racist, red-baiting attacks in 2009, is telling his now.”Bloomington Alternative (online) Van Jones is back with a message for disappointed progressives, Occupy Wall Street and other post-Hope Democrats still looking to President Barack Obama for the change they voted for in 2008: Get over it. . . . Jones new book, Rebuild the Dream,” [is] his blueprint for grassroots action to restore the economy as well as attempt to turn Obama into the kind of president they want. The book is a companion piece to Jones activities since leaving the White House and his new rock-star status within the progressive movement.”Politico [M]ore political prescription than memoir. . . . [Jones] is trying to push that agenda from the outside, by seeking to better organize various progressive movements that include the Occupy efforts, labor, women, environmentalists, civil rights supporters, and peace activists.”USA Today Rebuild offers a fairly honest critique of Obama's successes and failures during the president's first year in office.”San Francisco Bay Guardian In the end, Rebuild The Dream, like its author, is optimistic. Jones saw the rallies in 2008, the football stadiums filled to overflow capacity with cheering, hopeful, energized voters who were demanding change.”Jeff Turrentine, ONEARTH Blog In Rebuild the Dream, Jones explains seven crucial missteps by the White House and by social change movements since 2008 and analyzes the rise of the tea party and occupy movements. He lays out a strategic game plan for the next chapterturning anger into action, protest into power and suffering into solutions. It is a road map to re-energizing the progressive movement.”Mike Hall for the AFL-CIO A confident clarion call sure to arouse controversy in this election year.”Kirkus Reviews
[T]his is a must-read book for the renewable energy industry.”Joanna Schroeder, Domestic Fuel.com
Van is a gifted leader of ideas and of action. He makes connections, thinks beyond the box, and inspires others to join
He inspired people across the country with the insight that the transition to a sustainable economy could be the greatest jobs program since the mobilization for World War II and that we could insure that those who were left out of the old economy could be central to the green jobs of the new economy."Robert Borosage, President of Institute for Americas Future Let me just say that Van Jones is a very, very intelligent man. A Yale graduate, someone who came up from the public schools of Jackson, Tenn. to make something of himself. People have a deep and abiding respect for his expertise for on the environment.”Donna Brazile, CNN Political Commentator/Political Strategist I introduced Van, noting our past differences and my great admiration for his vision, passion and intelligence. I was amazed by his new vision green-collar jobs and the collaborative way he was building a movement to work with the system to make a difference for the planet and low-income people. Later that night, he shared with me his leadership journey during the 10 years since we met, how he had learned and grown. I saw his impressive charisma, intellect, and passion gain from the addition of humility, wisdom, and collaborative orientation.”Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies [Van is] in fact a Yale-educated attorney, best-selling author, and one of the most strategic minds in contemporary politics
he has been fighting for a lifetime to try and improve the world around him most recently by pushing for green jobs and pathways out of poverty for millions of people around this country of ours.”Gillian Caldwell, Campaign Director, 1Sky We didnt agree, a lot of times on things, we still dont agree on things sometimes. I think Ive helped him understand a different perspective, hes certainly helped me understand a different perspective. Hell find something in your background, something that youve answered, that he can connect with... He really truly wants to make a difference; he is committed to leaving this world a better place."Jerald Ogg, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Martin Van Jones is not a leader in our movement in the past tense. He is still a leader and an inspiring figure and we have no doubt that he is just getting started in terms of the leadership he will provide in this movement.”Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition At the Ella Baker Center For Human Rights, he and the brilliant organizers there helped develop the model project in Oakland that linked green job training to unemployed inner city youths
Van was building national networks and a bipartisan, multiracial consensus.”Jeff Chang, Author/Activist
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
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.
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 burstand 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.”
About the Author
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.