• Politics Is for Power

  • How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change
  • By: Eitan Hersh
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (189 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking analysis of political hobbyism - treating politics like a spectator sport - and an urgent and timely call to arms for the many well-meaning, well-informed citizens who follow political news but do not take political action.

Do you consider yourself politically engaged? Probably, yes! But are you, really? The uncomfortable truth is that most of us have good intentions. We vote (sometimes) and occasionally sign a petition or attend a rally. But we mainly “engage” by consuming politics as if it’s entertainment or a hobby. We obsessively follow the news and complain about the opposition to our friends or spouse. We tweet and post and share. The hours we spend on politics are used mainly as pastime. 

Instead, political scientist and data analyst Eitan Hersh offers convincing evidence that we should be spending the same number of hours building political organizations, implementing a long-term vision for our local communities, and getting to know our neighbors, whose votes will be needed for solving hard problems. We could be accumulating power so that when there are opportunities to make a difference - to lobby, to advocate, to mobilize - we will be ready. Aided by cutting-edge social science as well as remarkable stories of ordinary citizens who got off their couches and took political power seriously, this audiobook shows us how to channel our energy away from political hobbyism and toward empowering our values. 

In an age of political turmoil and as the 2020 election looms, Politics Is for Power is an inspiring, vital listen that will make you hopeful for America’s democratic future. 

©2020 Eitan Hersh (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Politics Is for Power

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Fantastically motivating and informative book

This book did an excellent job of cutting to the chase of how political power is gained in today’s system. If you’re someone who is engaged in the daily news cycle and looking to create political change, this book is a must read.

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this is meta

as the books says "woah, this is meta"

Power in politics is about real action and the book did inspire me to do just that for my community. Eitan writes that he doesn't feel he's done as much as the stories of those he talks about in this book, but I assume there's thousands more just like me that have been inspired to take action for causes we believe in because of this book. Hopefully, he knows that. Great listen, would recommend to anyone who considers themselves interested in politics.

1 person found this helpful

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What if you are wasting all of your political time?

Out nation’s problems keep piling up putting our children at grave risk. Hersh explains that is because we are electing leaders to entertain us rather than work together to solve problems. There is still time to act on his findings in the 2020 election. It may be our last chance before baby boomers will forever be known as the worst generation.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome analysis of the ineffectual behavior of...

the politically informed. Numbers trends and narratives that support a position that most educated white people treat politics like an entertainment sport, when they think they are playing politics. Real life stories are included to drive the points home and provide examples of what real politics look like. This book should be read by everyone who has discussed politics on Facebook or Twitter. This book could be the first step towards massing power, and making change as an individual.

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Highly recommend

A good read to help understand why most of our current interactions with politics can feel so fruitless, and ways we can act more directly instead.

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Good feels, decent activist advice, shit politics

Up to chapter 14 I would say it was (as far as I could tell) useful. Lots of decent anecdotes and organizing strategies and theories.

Jump to the end if you just want the short and sweet of my review.

Chapter 15 where this guy says that the dems should've made a deal on the first Supreme Court Justice of trumps presidency with the Reps is moronic, considering Mitch McConnell's promises are vapid anyway. Where at the end of Obama presidency with a year left it was too close to an election, and trumps last nominee the year of this wasn't a concern.

To be fair he relents shortly after but follows with another dumbass take that made me really appreciate the humility in first part of the book.

On politics this person has the outlook of a neoliberal, making a false dichotomy with respect to social security. How childish he says. Being unable to acquiesce to a dogshit ultimatum to prevent its insolvency . Essentially saying austerity is a more mature perspective. Ignoring that austerity doesn't work, budget increases for some social programs don't have to come from cuts to other social programs (might as well do nothing in that case you're litterally just shuffling around the suffering instead of improving people's lives.)

These People without this money (as he mentioned would often commit suicide) have to reenter the workforce at an age where this may not be possible. I too would find this inability to compromise childish (as he puts it) if I did not have empathy for humans and their suffering.

Also the performance was really stilted. The reading came off kind of pedantic? Like maybe the intonation of a work orientation video? Or a kids show? In either case the man spent chapter 15 enunciating the word catharsis and cathartic the whole chapter except for one time. It was very funny.

Overall book 6/10 first half saves the whole thing tbh, audio was awkward and funny at times. Worth the money exclusively for the first half and the reading of chapter 15.

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started out strong...

but I couldn't stay with it. I wanted to like it but couldn't like it

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Essential beginners guide to begin your own guide

Very great first step thoughts and ideas for all when in comes to politics. I enjoyed many of the detailed accounts and believe that is it is all up to you, the individual/s,. whether or not you're able and willing to bring about ideas and change for yourself and/or whether you're considering being more active in your community or to participate and get involved more at your state, district, county. Hobby or a true believer ready to be a leader in running for Political campaign seat for all constitutes.

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A huge win for the Marketplace of ideas.

Highly recommend this book to any young progressives interested in politics and making real change.

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excellent, incredibly informative, and above all,

Legitimately inspiring to go out and create actual changes. Informative in it shows you how you can. The best politics book I've ever read.