Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy (Paperback)
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The “wildly undersold story” (Lawrence Lessig) of the next American revolution, and the inspiring citizen activists fighting to save America’s fragile democracy.
Our country is dominated by a political party that has no interest in governing, and that seeks to entrench its power by limiting democracy—going so far as to force people to the polls in the middle of a pandemic. Yet there is hope, as best-selling author David Daley argues in Unrigged, though it doesn’t lie in Congress, gerrymandered statehouses, or even the courts. We must, instead, look to the grassroots. Introducing us to groups that have pioneered innovative organizing methods—often combining old-school activism with new digital tools—Daley uncovers the story behind voting-rights victories nationwide and the new organizations reinventing our politics. The result is a vivid portrait of a new civic awakening, and an essential toolkit for reviving our democracy in the Trump era and beyond.
About the Author
David Daley is the author of Ratf**ked. His journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, the Washington Post, and New York magazine. He is a senior fellow at FairVote, the former editor of Salon, and lives in Massachusetts.
A thoughtful and important follow-up to Daley’s earlier book, Ratf**ked.
— Timothy Smith, Washington Post
Unrigged is largely a photograph of the national movement that his previous book helped spawn, and suggests the possibility of a nationwide grassroots voter rebellion.
— Skip Johnson, Charleston Post Courier
[A]n uplifting survey of grassroots efforts to make American democracy more inclusive. . . . Daley’s wit (the offices of the Election Protection hotline are filled with “enough Starbucks cups to caffeinate The Walking Dead”) and clear explanations of the electoral process make the book accessible to political neophytes as well as experts. This optimistic appraisal of the political scene will strike a chord with progressives gearing up for the 2020 elections.
An inspirational polemic about political involvement from a plethora of people in different areas.... Its strength... is displayed through the examination of activist work that brings to light the common humanity of society’s marginalized populations.... This account shows the significance of more people getting involved in public service after the 2016 election. Best suited for civically engaged readers interested in a populist vision for political activism.
— Jesse A. Lambertson, Library Journal
An uplifting story of how grassroots political movements around the nation are forcing significant changes in how our government operates. . . . As Daley clearly shows throughout this inspiring text, it was always 'ordinary' citizens who led the way, often people who had never participated in politics. They took to the streets, circulated petitions, ran for office, and launched or joined organizations, and they did it while facing overwhelming odds and severe opposition from elected officials. But they never gave up, and they almost always won. A book for anyone who wants to effect major change but thinks they can't.
He's back! David Daley's first book, Ratf**ked, was a fantastic read that exposed the politicians who rig maps and gerrymander themselves into office, regardless of the will of the people. This inspiring story of the everyday citizens who stood up, fought back, and won will restore your hope that in America, the people still have the power.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger
The wildly undersold story of the beginning of the next American revolution: If you ever needed hope, it is here. If you need a cause, it is here. If you want to mark the beginning of whenever everything changed, it is in the passion and the truth of what is told here: Daley has given us a picture of what democracy looks like. Or will, when this revolution is complete.
— Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School, and author of They Don’t Represent Us
David Daley's work has fired up a generation of activists who are fighting to un-fuck it all up before time runs out. He is a must-read writer for this critical moment.
— Amanda Litman, Run For Something co-founder and executive director