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Publisher's Summary

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 75 million calls, launch eight million text messages, and hold more than 100,000 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 22 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.

©2016 Becky Bond and Zack Exley (P)2017 Chelsea Green Publishing

Critic Reviews

Narrator Tia Rider Sorensen enlivens the words of authors Bond and Exley, senior advisors to Bernie Sanders's tech-driven presidential campaign. This spirited rendering gives a feel for the 75 million calls, eight million text messages, and 100,000 public meetings that took place during the campaign. In alternating chapters, Sorensen portrays Bond and Exley as they earnestly share suggestions, highlights, and mistakes for the purpose of influencing future campaigns of all sorts. Thinking big and encouraging volunteers are emphasized in Sorensen's uplifting style. Personal anecdotes add levity and human interest. Listeners will be amused by the chapter titled "The Tyranny of the Annoying," which advises leaders to immediately react to people--no matter how well intentioned--whose negative attitudes can help sink a campaign. It's inspiring and enlightening to hear insider views of one of our nation's most unprecedented presidential campaigns.² --AudioFile Magazine

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A decent, inspiring read

Becky and Zack obviously did a lot in a fairly short time with the Bernie campaign and it's inspiring to hear about it. But it's also great they've documented it so others can continue the great work. The ability to unleash the power of volunteers on amazing, big campaigns is something that resonates with me and some of the activism I've been a part of, like the Repower Pt Augusta campaign to have Concentrating Solar Thermal built.

We know that protesting for incremental change or clicktavism is very ineffective but it seems that having a worth while goal, a great core team and the ability for masses of volunteers to help seems like a powerful campaign strategy. That face to face or over the phone conversations are effective and I love the use of the dialler.

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Incredibly inspiring

This book has great stories of a historic campaign as well as guidelines for building a massive volunteer workforce as well as managing people effectively. Top notch!

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Get inspired to I rganize BIG

22 rules to inspire drive voluntary campaigns.

My favorite rules:

1. You Won’t Get a Revolution If You Don’t Ask for One
6. The Work Is Distributed. The Plan Is Centralized
9. Fight the Tyranny of the Annoying
10. Give Away Your Passwords !
11. Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Big
12. Learn the Basics of Good Management
14. Grow Complexity by Solving Problems as They Arise
16. Best Practices Become Worst Practices

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Very important and useful primer on big organizing

These "rules" developed out of the tremendous volunteer organizing of the Bernie campaign, will help rewrite the change campaigns of the future. Excellent book.

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Must read

This it's a very insightful book about the Bernie Sanders campaign, what went right and what went wrong. I saw many of these things happening first hand and now I know why.

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  • Gregory Monk
  • 06-02-17

Massively important for future elections

Would you listen to Rules for Revolutionaries again? Why?

Yes. It will be integral to remind myself of all the different ways anybody can assist a social movement. It was also full of hope so could be useful when feeling the dreaded burnout.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There were no characters.

What does Tia Rider Sorensen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Given that it is a personal story of her experiences I feel the connection more when not reading it in my own voice. And I can only do New York taxi driver when it comes to American accents.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Next time we'll be ready.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bilal Hussain
  • 03-29-18

It's alright

It's alright. not the best. not the worst. some chapters great some of them not so great

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-18

Failed to seperate emotion from campaign mechanic

I read the first 2 chapters, and then I read the FAQ on how to refund a book.

As a seasoned campaigner, I expected this book to focus more on the mechanics of campaigning. However, it was riddled with ideological and emotive language.

Not a book for academics and campaigners. This book is the latest iteration of "Here's how Bernie can still be President".