Books are an unfair advantage.
Years, decades, a life-time of experience & research captured on a few pages. Ready for us to digest and try out. A shortcut, a way to avoid a lot of experimentation and wrong turns.
But then again, there a lot of books out there. And we don't have time for unhelpful books.
So, here are my 11 must-reads for anyone in politics, or about to step into the arena.
Plus my top 3 insights for each book.
Equals 33 gems for you to get ahead of the game.
I hope this is helpful. If it does, please share with someone who'd benefit.
Let's start with books specific to politics, and then get more foundational.
'Groundbreakers' by Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han
If there's one book on campaigning you want to read, this is it. The subtitle says it all: 'How Obama's 2.2 million volunteers transformed campaigning in America'. Know how the 2008 Obama campaign succeeded? This book may change that story.
It's packed with practical blueprints and tactics straight out of the Obama campaign handbook.
My 3 key insights:
- There is no silver bullet. Campaigning is hard, messy, often experimental work that involves a lot of puzzle pieces, and part of the challenge is to integrate these pieces.
- Campaigns can strengthen democracy. They are not just a vehicle to win elections. A campaign centred around organizing volunteers empowers communities to organize for change far beyond elections.
- 'Respect, empower, include' was the motto of the campaign. Volunteers felt they were an integral part of the campaign, not just called up last minute to be here or there at a certain time.
Find out more here.
'Don't think of an Elephant' by George Lakoff
Master the frame and you guide the debate. Frames are mental structures and they shape how we see the world.