Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and America's funniest activist gives the lowdown on how to put up-not shut up-in the fight for our future
Hightower, the country's #1 populist, has picked up some useful advice over the years, from "never eat at a café featuring 'bargain kebobs'" to "never hit a man with glasses; hit him with something much heavier." As he and his longtime co-conspirator Susan DeMarco have rambled through grassroots America, however, they've also come up with more serious words of wisdom to share here, namely: question authority, trust your values, seek alternatives, break away, stand up for your beliefs, and swim against the current!
Their book introduces readers to people across the country who have actually done this-people in business, politics, health care, farming, religion, and other areas who are taking charge, living their values, doing good, and doing well. Hightower and DeMarco show how they are doing precisely what the elites want us to believe can't be done: changing their lives and making a difference. He tells the stories of these people and offers inspiration and information that will help readers tap into their own maverick potential in order to navigate a different, more satisfying course of their own.
Whether they are young and just starting out or older and searching for a different path, the commonsense folks in this book have escaped the corporate tentacles to find their own way toward a richer life and a better American future. They are creating a new, deeply democratic model for the country, edging it back onto the long road toward egalitarianism and the common good.
Hightower and DeMarco are at their contrarian, sharp-witted, and straight-shooting best as they celebrate the triumph of grassroots gumption over the tight-fisted grip of corporate control.
Jim Hightower (Austin, TX) is a syndicated columnist, national radio commentator, publisher of the Hightower Lowdown newsletter, and the New York Times bestselling author of Thieves in High Places (978-0-670-03141-2). Susan DeMarco (Austin, TX) is a writer, former radio talk-show host, public-interest activist, and longtime Hightower partner-in-crime.
* ""We all need some inspiration from time to time to remind us of what were fighting for, not just against. Hightower and DeMarco provide it in these pages, thank our lucky stars..."" (DailyKos.com, April 6, 2008)
Pssssst! Bookstore browsers!
Don't look around, but the corporate and political powers that be want you to put this book down, right now. It definitely is NOT on their approved list.
Swim against the Current is one of those books that the power elites don't like seeing in stores, much less in your hands--not merely because it challenges their established order, but especially because our book reveals paths that folks like you can use to escape their rigid, hierarchical structures and discover a bit more satisfaction in life.
They prefer that you pick up one of those escapist novels over there across the store, rather than finding out that the greatest escape of all can be from stultifying conventional wisdom. We Americans are constantly harassed into thinking that we can't break the mold that those in charge have made for us. But as a friend of ours puts it: "Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
It's the uplifting stories of mavericks that we tell here. They've broken free of the corporate tentacles, free of business-as-usual politics, free of top-down elites. They're figuring out new ways to do commerce, ways to create political channels that empower grassroots Americans, and ways to live their lives.
As these folks show, resistance is not futile . . . it's fertile. Join the fun! Happy reading!
Americas most irascible and hilarious curmudgeon turns a kind and benevolent eye toward brave, hardy, and hardworking souls around the country who have found ways to break free from corporate tentacles; redefine success in business, politics, and life in general; and blaze new pathways toward a richer and happier way of life, from the farmers cooperative that said “NO!” to Wal-Mart and thrived to the economists who got into the coffee business by accident and turned the entire industry on its ear.
Buck the system and win!
"We all need some inspiration from time to time to remind us of what we're fighting for, not just against. Hightower and DeMarco provide it in these pages, thank our lucky stars."
"[An] irreverent and uplifting look at how individuals and companies can be both successful and socially responsible.... [Hightower and DeMarco] provide tangible steps to escape 'corporate tentacles' and become catalysts for change.... An entertaining and insightful look at making a living while staying true to one's values, the book will please Hightower's many fans and will earn him more than a few new ones."
While politicians of both parties have discovered "change" as a neat political buzzword, thousands of corporate lobbyists in Washington sit comfortably behind those very politicians, smiling, winking, and doling out campaign cash to maintain business as usual.
But don't despair, for there's real hope! Instead of looking to Washington, Hightower and DeMarco take us into the heart of America to introduce us to our country's genuine agents of change—ordinary folks who've chosen to buck the system, defy the rigid corporate order, and live their progressive values.
Swim against the Current is a rollicking read, telling the uplifting stories of feisty grassroots people and groups who're not just talking about change but actually producing it—in politics, business, health care, banking, religion, and other aspects of American life.
Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." That's the plucky spirit of this delightful book. You'll meet cab drivers, organic farmers, the organizers of "Fighting Bob Fest," a maverick pharmacist, evangelical environmentalists, and so many others who are being true to themselves, swimming against the current, and showing the rest of us new ways to make our lives more meaningful, more satisfying.
Some say we can't change the system. But, as Hightower and DeMarco point out in this surprising and inspiring book: "Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
America’s most irascible and hilarious curmudgeon turns a kind and benevolent eye toward brave, hardy, and hardworking souls around the country who have found ways to break free from corporate tentacles; redefine success in business, politics, and life in general; and blaze new pathways toward a richer and happier way of life, from the farmers’ cooperative that said “NO!” to Wal-Mart and thrived to the economists who got into the coffee business by accident and turned the entire industry on its ear.
About the Author
is a syndicated columnist, a national radio commentator, the publisher of the Hightower Lowdown
newsletter, and the New York Times
bestselling author of Thieves in High Places
Susan DeMarco is a writer, a former radio talk-show host, a public-interest activist, and longtime Hightower partner-in-crime.
Table of Contents
PART ONE Business 5
CHAPTER 1 Business without Greed 7
CHAPTER 2 Fair Trade 14
CHAPTER 3 Cooperation Works 19
CHAPTER 4 Socially Responsible 29
CHAPTER 5 Putting Workers in Charge 42
CHAPTER 6 The Good (Business) Life 51
CHAPTER 7 Banking on Change 58
Connections for Part One 66
PART TWO Politics 73
CHAPTER 8 Shape Up, America! 75
CHAPTER 9 Run for It! 83
CHAPTER 10 Clean Elections 92
CHAPTER 11 Democracy School 105
CHAPTER 12 Build It! 111
CHAPTER 13 Granny Power 122
CHAPTER 14 The Politics of Fun 127
Connections for Part Two 134
PART THREE Life 139
CHAPTER 15 Take Charge! 141
CHAPTER 16 How We Live 151
CHAPTER 17 A Mass Movement Arises 158
CHAPTER 18 Flowers in the Field 164
CHAPTER 19 The Conscience of an Evangelical 176
Connections for Part Three 188
Final Thoughts 193
DeMarco's Reading List 197