• Outside the Wire

  • By: Jason Kander
  • Narrated by: Author
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A smart and revealing political memoir from a rising star of the Democratic Party. 

"In life and in politics, the most important work is often that which happens outside the wire."

Going "outside the wire" - military lingo for leaving the safety of a base - has taught Jason Kander to take risks and make change rather than settling for the easy option. After you've volunteered to put your life on the line with and for your fellow Americans in Afghanistan, cynical politics and empty posturing back home just feel like an insult.

Kander understands showing political courage really just means doing the right thing no matter what. He won a seat in the Missouri legislature at age 27 and then, at 31, became the first millennial in the country elected to statewide office. An unapologetic progressive from the heartland, he rejected conventional political wisdom and stood up to the NRA in 2016 with a now-famous Senate campaign ad in which he argued for gun reform while assembling a rifle blindfolded.

That fearless commitment to service has placed him at the forefront of a new generation of American political leaders. In his final interview as president, Barack Obama pointed to Kander as the future of the Democratic Party.

"...do something rather than be something..."

In Outside the Wire, Jason Kander describes his journey from Midwestern suburban kid to soldier to politician and details what he's learned along the way: lessons imparted by his dad on the baseball diamond, wisdom gained outside the wire in Kabul, and cautionary tales witnessed under the Missouri Capitol dome. Kander faced down petty tyrants in Jefferson City - no big deal after encountering real ones in Afghanistan. He put in 90,000 miles campaigning for statewide office in 2012 - no sweat compared to the 37 miles between Bagram Air Base and Camp Eggers. When confronted with a choice between what's easy and what's right, he's never hesitated.

Outside the Wire is a candid, practical guide for anyone thinking about public service and everyone wishing to make a difference. It's a call to action, an entertaining meditation on the demands and rewards of civic engagement, and, ultimately, a hopeful vision for America's future - all seen through the eyes of one of its most dedicated servants.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Jason Kander (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Jason Kander is in the vanguard of a new generation of public servants working tirelessly to realize the promise of our country for every American. Outside the Wire vividly captures his experience, energy, ideas, and vision for the future of our democracy." (Senator Cory Booker)

"When we asked President Obama who he saw as the future of the Democratic Party, the first name out of his mouth was Jason Kander's. When you read this book, you'll understand why." (Dan Pfeiffer, cohost of Pod Save America

"At a time when our boys and young men are in desperate need of healthy male role models in media and politics, Jason Kander has written the perfect book. His collection of stories shows that a man can be strong without being a bully, tough without being cruel, and a leader without sacrificing vulnerability, compassion, and empathy." (Cleo Wade, best-selling author of Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life)

What listeners say about Outside the Wire

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Great book! Interesting and informative...funny too!

I ordered the audio book as I am in my car for hours a day for work. This book went by too fast! Jason Kander’s stories were always interesting and often funny and self-deprecating. While he writes that the book is geared in some ways towards those considering a political life, I found his lessons were applicable to everyday life. I highly recommend this book, especially for progressives out there. You will whole heartedly agree with every word. Lastly, as the mom of a 4 1/2 year old, the last word rings as true as every word in the rest of the book. Spot on! Kudos to my fellow Kansas Citian for writing a great book!

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Outstanding Listen

What a great book! I listened to it over several days on my morning walk. How refreshing to hear from someone who has been in politics and did the job for the right reasons! Can’t wait to start his next book! Jason - keep on keeping it real!

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Uplifting & Honest

After hearing Mr. Kander on various podcasts, & in anticipation of his 2nd book, I decided to give this a listen first. I'm very glad I did, as it was funny, engaging & full of ways any of us can fight for democracy.

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honest and inspirational

I know Jason would have mixed things to say about hearing me say it but: He does not sound like a politician. today in 2019, we need this message even more. it it time to pull together, and step outside the wire because that is what needs to be done.

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Feeling Disheartened? Read this book!

I loved it.

I'm a big fan of Jason's podcast, Majority 54, and a big fan of this book.

No matter how cynical you are on your worst day, you won't be able to help believing in Jason Kandor's honor and integrity. He'll make you believe that you, too, can make a difference. He'll make you believe the system can work if we work together.

Loved the movie references and baseball analogies.

Thank you, Jason, for this book and all of your work.
Let America Vote!

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Funny and poignant

I enjoy Kander’s podcast, Majority 54, so decided to try the book. Not only did it not disappoint, it prompted me to write my first review.

Kander is, by turns, funny, self-deprecating and serious, while presenting the things he has learnt from his time in Afghanistan and in politics. His passionate call for us all to use our platform has resonated with this listener and I’m off now to look for ways to get involved. A must listen for any progressive.

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The Democrat we need to strive to be.

Amazing!!! I would make this required reading for all campaign workers if I was running for election.

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he really is just as humble, honest and passionate

So good that half way through I walked in to son's room and required him to read it. Jason was one of my students when I taught ROTC at Georgetown University. He is a true man of character and it comes through clearly in this book. And yes he really is just as humble, honest and passionate in real life.

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A Must Listen!

I am a fan of Majority 54 so I know I would like Jason’s book. But I LOVED it! It’s a true path forward for our Democracy and a reminder we all have a part to play in making our society a better more honest one. Thanks for the motivation to grab an oar!

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Go with the Audiobook

I am happy I chose the audiobook. Hearing Jason tell the story in his own words raised the experience to another level.

A great Book.