• Forward

  • Notes on the Future of Our Democracy
  • By: Andrew Yang
  • Narrated by: Andrew Yang
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (458 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller

A lively and bold blueprint for moving beyond the "era of institutional failure" by transforming our outmoded political and economic systems to be resilient to 21st-century problems, from the popular entrepreneur, best-selling author, and political truth-teller

"A vitally important book." (Mark Cuban)

Despite being written off by the media, Andrew Yang’s shoestring 2020 presidential campaign - powered by his proposal for a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for all Americans - jolted the political establishment, growing into a massive, diverse movement.

Now, in Forward, Yang reveals that UBI and the threat of job automation are only the beginning, diagnosing how a series of cascading problems within our antiquated systems keeps us stuck in the past - imperiling our democracy at every level. With America’s stagnant institutions failing to keep pace with technological change, we grow more polarized as tech platforms supplant our will while feasting on our data. Yang introduces us to the various “priests of the decline” of America, including politicians whose incentives have become divorced from the people they supposedly serve.

The machinery of American democracy is failing, Yang argues, and we need bold new ideas to rewire it for 21st-century problems. Inspired by his experience running for office and as an entrepreneur, and by ideas drawn from leading thinkers, Yang offers a series of solutions, including data rights, ranked-choice voting, and fact-based governance empowered by modern technology, writing that “there is no cavalry” - it’s up to us. This is a powerful and urgent warning that we must step back from the brink and plot a new way forward for our democracy.

©2022 Random House (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Andrew Yang surged to popularity in 2020 because he saw - like none of the other presidential candidates - that our problems came from the complex interactions of democracy, economics, and technology. In this important book, he explains how these three domains interact and he proposes solutions that, when combined, would lead us forward to human-centered capitalism and a vibrant, just, and prosperous democracy.” (Jonathan Haidt) 

“Can there be another political party in the U.S.? Can we find a way past toxic partisanship to a fact-based government? In Forward, Yang does not just give us a laundry list of intractable problems, but shows how we can find solutions if we think in new ways and summon the courage to do so.” (Kara Swisher) 

“It's no wonder that ever since Yang burst onto the scene with a positive movement that spoke directly to the pain Americans are feeling, both parties have been taking his ideas. With Forward, Yang once again proves he is a necessary and powerful voice.” (Van Jones)  

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What listeners say about Forward

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  • S
  • 10-05-21

MAGA reviews Yang

I decided to read Mr Yangs book because he came across as someone who cares. I see the problems he sees, I agree with most of his supporting statements and he seems like someone who could actually change the world.
I am in no way his typical audience.

Reads as a memoir of his presidential campaign and life experience which have led him to his conclusions/ platform.
Comes across as an idealistic and driven, regular smart guy/ problem solver.
( Sheds a TON of light on fundraising emails I get from the GOP.)

I have about 2.5 hours left, but towards the middle- end he decries the media's narrative, spin and outright manufacture of facts destroying the fabric of the United States. 1000% agree, will donate to your cause.
Then proceeds to use the same spun, manufactured and narrative driven stories to support some of his social programs.
He mentions the personal relationships he developed with the media, and talks about how the media producers are forcing the journalists to write in inflammatory ways. Apply it to your own side as well man!

Performance got 4 just because I have higher standards for audio books.
Overall 5 for his honesty, given his perspective.
Story got 4 because I feel like it could have flowed better. His life story/ political experience flow like a pleasant stream but his policy posits and support feel like they could be more developed.

The injection of politically charged material broke the flow in his assessment of the dynamic and entrenched issues destroying the country.
As to their substance I can only say that most not understand the motivations or personalities of their opposition nor their enemies.

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Important work

I don't agree with Andrew on everything, but I'm with him about 80% of the time. I wish him well and will continue to follow what he's doing. I hope he continues to get increasingly honest now that he's not beholden to the DNC.

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Actionable ideas to improve America

I am a fan of Yang, so I came to this book optimistic. In three parts, he walks you through his experience as a candidate, the issues he sees with our system, and ideas for how to move FORWARD. Like most books, I think a ten page summary would give you the key points, but I found his stories interesting and I finished the book in just under three days, eager to hear more and see what ideas he had to improve American government.
I'm excited to be part of the Forward party and take action to improve our government.

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#ForwardParty

LET'S GOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andrew has gotten me excited about politics again!! I feel like I just listened to The War On Normal People for the first time again...only with a better ending!! #ForwardParty

2 people found this helpful

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What our future needs

Yang’s ideas and main points of focus for the future of our government and in turn our American way of life is a huge step in the right direction. As an independent, he is truly someone all sides of the political spectrum can get behind to help our country represent and world for all of us and not just half of us. Very interesting read. Absolutely recommend.

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Another Significant Work

Although I found The War on Normal People an engaging and thought-provoking read, Forward goes broader and deeper into the man and his rational-visionary (sometimes Sisyphean) ideas for how to make our government fully-functioning in service of people. I was one of the original Yang Gang early in the US Presidential race of 2020, but I was less supportive of his NYC mayor's run. I still view him more as an influencer, pundit, and visionary than as someone in the trenches (although he describes those trenches with real insight). I would hope that more people like me, who may or may not remain enamored of Andrew as a political candidate, but who value his ideas and how he expresses them, will read this book. Thus, this review.

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The Memoir that America Needs to Move Forward

I really enjoyed this book. I made it through in a combination of reading a hard copy and listening to the audiobook, pending the day. I say this is a memoir because I think much of the media coverage around the book's release is misleading. One should not be afraid of reading this book. It's not too heavy (it's even playful and funny in moments); it's not too heady; it's written in plain, digestible English. Yang takes his own personal experience and uses it to point the problems in our present form of democracy while, as the book's subtitle suggests, giving us notes on the future of what our democracy can be. I also say it's a memoir because while there are references to other texts, namely another excellent book Ezra Klein's Why We're Polarized (Simon & Schuster, 2020), the narrative is singular. Yang deftly gives insights into his 2020 presidential campaign, his NYC mayoral campaign, conversations with the Biden transition team about potential cabinet positions, helping campaign in Georgia for the 2020 runoff elections, and the Humanity Forward endorsed grassroots candidates in this past election cycle. He uses these stories to elucidate the flaws that are a part of the systems which our democracy operates in as well as how media and journalism plays a role all while offering solutions to these problems. It's mostly in the third and final section where these solutions are made most explicit and the pillars of Forward are established and clear. In finishing this book, it's clear that Forward isn't a third political party, it's a movement and coalition of principles & policies which an independent or a member of any party could be a part of. This book is a must-read (or must -listen) for anyone concerned with why there doesn't seem to be much political progress, what we can do about the political polarization in our country, and how we can empower a coalition of candidates that don't just get things done, but get things done that benefit all citizens. In fact, Andrew Yang's Forward is probably the best gift you could give to someone who is not concerned about any of these things yet because the only way we can get these things done is by moving forward together.

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Andrew!!!!!! Yes, indeed!!!

I saw Andrew Yang on the Chris Cuomo podcast. I immediately got the book! I am not left, not right.....I AM FORWARD!!!! Thank you so MUCH

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Join the forward party!

Here is a reasonable, compassionate soul that is actually managing to improve our country. Shocking. Accessible to Republicans, Democrats, independence and anybody. He has earned our hearing. Can we listen?

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Loved Yang's narration and ideas.

Yang spoke his ideas clearly, with great detail, but in layman's terms so everyone can understand. I'm so excited for the Forward Party coming together.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-22

Lovely ideas that make you think long after you stop listening.

A sorry that takes you into American politics and shows you how the sausage gets made.
Andrew had an honest voice and idea that will help.
I loved this book.