From the authors of Manifesta, an activism handbook that illustrates how to truly make the personal political.
Grassroots is an activism handbook for social justice. Aimed at everyone from students to professionals, stay-at-home moms to artists, Grassroots answers the perennial question: What can I do? Whether you are concerned about the environment, human rights violations in Tibet, campus sexual assault policies, sweatshop labor, gay marriage, or the ongoing repercussions from 9-11, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards believe that we all have something to offer in the fight against injustice. Based on the authors' own experiences, and the stories of both the large number of activists they work with as well as the countless everyday people they have encountered over the years, Grassroots encourages people to move beyond the "generic three" (check writing, calling congresspeople, and volunteering) and make a difference with clear guidelines and models for activism. The authors draw heavily on individual stories as examples, inspiring readers to recognize the tools right in front of thembe it the office copier or the family living roomin order to make change. Activism is accessible to all, and Grassroots shows how anyone, no matter how much or little time they have to offer, can create a world that more clearly reflects their values.
"[L]ike punk rock, feminism is also based on the idea that you, an average schmo, have the power to take matters into your own hands." In this unquestionably useful, undoubtedly feel-good guide to feminist activism, the authors of Manifesta reveal how women can effect change without being highly experienced (suburban teenagers and investment bankers can do it), morally irreproachable (one can protest Nike's labor practices and still wear its shoes) or dull and unfashionable (Legally Blonde's Elle Woods is an activist-albeit a fictional one). As the Elle Woods reference demonstrates, encouraging activism in the Sex and the City crowd can be straining, but the authors' warm, encouraging tone and examples of everyday people doing good-themselves included-are inspiring. "You don't have to take the world on your shoulders-you just need to take advantage of the opportunities your life provides for creating social justice," they insist. Lauren, a 33-year-old writer at Smart Money, decided to join a lawsuit against her insurance provider for refusing to subsidize birth control; Allison started a feminist group to fight stereotypes at her Santa Barbara high school; Nisha makes queer-friendly films about South Asian women. Profiled along with many others, these women each embody Baumgardner and Richard's eloquently argued claim that "activism should be of you, not outside of you." Agent, Jill Grinberg. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.