Weekend Book and Movie Reviews
With more than 20 hours spent on planes to and from Amsterdam this past week, I had a lot of time to read books and watch movies on my laptop. Here are some of the best:
Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics is both of the blogosphere and beyond it. Writing with the outrage of outsiders and the access of insiders, the two bloggers analyze a Democratic Party they find oddly complacent despite its losing record and tarnished reputation. They argue that the party's most consequential problem is not branding but its sclerotic leadership, quarrelsome coalitions and anachronistic fundraising methods [...]
In the end, Armstrong and ZÃºniga have written the rare polemic that focuses more on fostering innovation than defending a particular worldview. They decline to outline a progressive policy agenda and humbly reject attempts to anoint themselves leaders of their website communities, let alone the netroots. Instead, they are trying to develop a decentralized progressive movement that draws strength from its members and has no traditional leaders to be co-opted. It is an admirable vision of "people-powered politics," and one that the Democratic Party sorely needs.
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