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Books I’ve enjoyed this year – some recommendations for campaigners

It’s the time of year when people are looking for ideas for Christmas gifts. So here are a few recommendations from things I’ve read over the last 12 months for campaigners looking to add something else to under the tree.

How Change Happens – Duncan Green’s long trailed book answers a critical question that all campaigners need to grapple with – how does change happen. It’s a really good read, and as I wrote here I really enjoyed some of the challenges that Duncan puts out to those of us who work in campaigning. Change doesn’t happen in a linear way, and we need to adjust our thinking and approach to respond to this.

51q0wasfl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything –  I need to do a bulk purchase of this to pass onto my team. It’s simply a brilliant book written by Becky Bond and Zack Exley who were the brains behind the ‘distributed organising approach’ that took Bernie Sanders so far in the Democratic primary in the US .

It’s short, at around 150 pages, unpacking how the approach was so successful with lots of stories to make the pages wizz by. Bernie Sanders clearly built something very unique so the 22 rules in this book. It’s oozing with wisdom and insight. A MUST READ. 

Blueprint for Revolution – I loved this from Srdja Popvic, the Serbian activist who led the movement to overthrow Slobodan Milošević and has shared his skills around the world since. It’s part autobiography, but also part playbook  for anyone involved in campaigning. It’s an easy and enjoyable read, with Popvic mixing a range of stories from his personal experience with lessons from history. My review of the book is here.

The Inevitable – this isn’t a book about campaigning, but the themes that Kevin Kelly explores in his book which looks at the themes which will shape technology over the next 30 years are totally relevant to anyone who wants to. I put the book down feeling a mixture of emotions, excited about what the future will look like for campaigning but also daunted about what the trends driving us towards. This is one of the best books I’ve come across to looking into the future. It’s not an easy read but a worthwhile read.

516x8yhzmfl-_sx335_bo1204203200_Ireland says Yes: The Inside Story of How the Vote for Marriage Equality Was Won – I had the privilege of hosting Gráinne Healy at the Bond Conference in March. Her insider account of the campaign for equal marriage in Ireland is brilliant.

As I said to CharityComms – it’s a page-turning account of a referendum campaign which successfully integrated brilliant messaging, powerful messengers and creative tactics to win.

If the story of the Irish referendum inspires you, I’d also really recommend Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundit sand Won which focuses on the equal marriage campaign in the US.

Looking ahead, I’m also super excited about 2 books coming out in early 2017. The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren’t Enough by Alex Evans  and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy by David Karpf.

They’re definitely on my wish list for early 2017. What else should I be adding? 

 

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