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Rules for Revolutionaries

Cover of Rules for Revolutionaries

Rules for Revolutionaries

How Big Organizing Can Change Everything
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Lessons from the groundbreaking grassroots campaign that helped launch a new political revolution

Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the political establishment and the "rules" that govern campaign strategy.

It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: A technology-driven team empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make seventy-five million calls, launch eight million text messages, and hold more than one-hundred thousand public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie Sanders's insurgent campaign over the top.

Bond and Exley, digital iconoclasts who have been reshaping the way politics is practiced in America for two decades, have identified twenty-two rules of "Big Organizing" that can be used to drive social change movements of any kind. And they tell the inside story of one of the most amazing grassroots political campaigns ever run.

Fast-paced, provocative, and profound, Rules for Revolutionaries stands as a liberating challenge to the low expectations and small thinking that dominates too many advocacy, non-profit, and campaigning organizations—and points the way forward to a future where political revolution is truly possible.

Lessons from the groundbreaking grassroots campaign that helped launch a new political revolution

Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the political establishment and the "rules" that govern campaign strategy.

It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: A technology-driven team empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make seventy-five million calls, launch eight million text messages, and hold more than one-hundred thousand public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie Sanders's insurgent campaign over the top.

Bond and Exley, digital iconoclasts who have been reshaping the way politics is practiced in America for two decades, have identified twenty-two rules of "Big Organizing" that can be used to drive social change movements of any kind. And they tell the inside story of one of the most amazing grassroots political campaigns ever run.

Fast-paced, provocative, and profound, Rules for Revolutionaries stands as a liberating challenge to the low expectations and small thinking that dominates too many advocacy, non-profit, and campaigning organizations—and points the way forward to a future where political revolution is truly possible.

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About the Author-
  • Becky Bond served as a senior advisor on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and was an architect of the campaign's national, volunteer-driven grassroots campaign. Prior to joining the Bernie Sanders campaign, Becky served as political director at CREDO where she was an innovator working at the intersection of organizing, politics, and technology for over a decade. Becky is a cofounder of CREDO SuperPAC, which was named by Mother Jones as one "2012's Least Horrible Super-PACs" for helping to defeat five sitting Tea Party Republican Congressmen. She lives in San Francisco, California, with the writer, designer, and book artist Emily McVarish. For more information about Becky, Rules for Revolutionaries, and a downloadable, open-source teaching tool to help you implement change in your community, visit bigorganizing.com. 

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 9, 2017
    Bond and Exley, senior advisors on the Sanders presidential campaign and the primary architects of the campaign’s national grassroots efforts, distill the organizing techniques they employed during the hard-fought Sanders-Clinton Democratic presidential primary. Bond and Exley argue convincingly that the old-school organizing techniques embodied in Saul Alinsky’s classic Rules for Radicals fall short in the 21st-century age of social media. They divide their commentary into 22 rules, illustrated by examples from the campaign. They cover basics like fund-raising, phone banking, and intraorganization communication, but the heart of their theory is “big organizing.” The idea is that people will organize around issues that are fundamental and speak to “big target universes,” such as making public college free, or providing universal health care. Along with identifying issues that matter to lots of people, the new rules embrace a structure that gives power to volunteers. Bond and Exley also argue that good management is not counter-revolutionary and note the dangers of management by consensus. The successes of the Sanders campaign gives credibility to this new organizing paradigm, and Bond and Exley’s valuable and pragmatic road map will appeal to those interested in social change, whether they’re organizing presidential campaigns or neighborhood efforts.

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    Chelsea Green Publishing
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Rules for Revolutionaries
Rules for Revolutionaries
How Big Organizing Can Change Everything
Becky Bond
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