Photography by Dorothea Lange on view at the Oakland Museum of California

American Poverty: Then & Now, in Words & Images

Eviction: Poverty and Profit in the American City
By Matthew Desmond
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
ISBN 978-0553447453

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing
Photographs at the Oakland Museum of California
runs through August 27th

LOAKL_EvictedIf you want to understand what’s happening in the American city today, particularly as we struggle locally with the proliferation of homelessness and displacement, there are two lenses through which we can learn more about the experience of poverty. First, Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Eviction: Poverty and Profit in the American City, now in paperback, offers sharp insights as it follows five families as the high cost of rent drives them from poverty into homelessness, and makes them easy prey for “unscrupulous landlords, loan sharks, and credit card companies.”

A visual perspective on poverty is on view at the Oakland Museum of California’s “Politics of Seeing” exhibit featuring Dorothea Lange’s haunting portraits of Americans displaced during the Great Depression and the Japanese internment camps. Both Desmond’s book and Lange’s exhibit prompt us to consider how economic hardship is both unfathomable and commonplace, albeit through distinct mediums in different centuries.

In describing the 21st century experience of eviction, Barbara Ehrenreich captures Desmond’s keen sense of the nuance of every day catastrophe in her New York Times review:

“Evictions are scenes of incredible cruelty, if not actual violence. Desmond describes the displacement of a Hispanic woman and her three children. At first she had “borne down on the emergency with focus and energy,” then she started wandering through the halls “aimlessly, almost drunkenly. Her face had that look. The movers and the deputies knew it well. It was the look of someone realizing that her family would be homeless in a matter of hours. It was something like denial giving way to the surrealism of the scene: the speed and violence of it all; gum-chewing sheriffs leaning against your wall, hands resting on holsters, all these strangers, these sweaty men, piling your things outside. . . . It was the face of a mother who climbs out of a cellar to find the tornado has leveled the house.”
— From Barbara Ehrenreich’s review of Evicted

These lines could easily have been written about Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, a photograph taken in 1936. While Florence Thompson, the woman portrayed in Migrant Mother, was not actually a single mother, her portrait with her children became the recognizable face of poverty and motherhood in the 20th century. Desmond notes that today eviction disproportionately affects single mothers and their children.

In our local context, the book couldn’t be more pertinent as we’ve seen waves of tent encampments swelling in number under each of the city’s overpasses and within public parks.

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, on view at the Oakland Museum of California

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, on view at the Oakland Museum of California

What makes it clear that many are recently evicted is the sheer number of personal items that surround each encampment—newly packed cardboard boxes, milk crates, & shopping carts, with tarps covering these belongings beside broken furniture, children’s toys, laundry baskets, and other detritus. A recent glimpse out the car window on 27th Street into a tent through a lowered flap revealed a pressed suit still on its hanger. A tiny potted plant sitting at the edge of a discarded mattress and surrounded by trash marked the boundary of another personal encampment. Even in the direst situations, a sense of maintaining dignity and the concept of home is a strong impulse.

Just a few blocks away at the Oakland Museum of California, 130 stark, black & white images hang on gallery walls in the Dorothea Lange exhibit aptly titled, “Politics of Seeing.” Without Lange’s government-sponsored images, we might not know what abject poverty or injustice looked like during these historic upheavals during the 1930s and 1940s. Seeing stoicism on the faces of Japanese citizens whose belongings were piled on the street as they boarded buses and left their homes for the inhospitable internment camps is a potent reminder of the human dimension of our government policies—and how fear and suspicion towards “immigrants” have very real consequences for families and their livelihoods. Lange never considered herself an artist, instead she aimed to create social change with her photography. Her focus on the harsh reality of the poor and dispossessed gives us an opportunity to recognize our collective humanity, then as now.

Many of us have a tendency to distance ourselves from the plight of those experiencing severe hardship, while simultaneously being aware we are fundamentally no different from those captured in its snare. Given society’s current challenges—climate change, technological displacement, the threat of economic collapse, social injustice, healthcare costs, government corruption—we need to see these as more than just threats affecting those who are less fortunate—any one of us could be swept up in forces beyond our control. Both Desmond’s excellent book and the images in Dorothea Lange’s social commentary inspire us to feel compassion, and hopefully move us closer to action on behalf of those engaged in the struggle already underway.

 

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Two Things I Know for Certain…Heaven Will Have Real Bookstores & Dark Carnival Needs Your Immediate Support

OK book-loving community, here’s the deal…

IMG_5428Dark Carnival, Berkeley’s beloved “bookstore of the imagination” is on the verge of closing. All I can say is …Nooooooo! We simply cannot let this happen. If you haven’t been there, picture in your mind’s eye the best spooky, eclectic, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy bookshop in the world. Did you picture a dizzying maze of ingenious books and curious objects piled from floor to ceiling, each more compelling than the last and covering every available surface, with narrow passages that would take more than an afternoon to wind your way through? That’s exactly what a trip to the over the top world of Dark Carnival is. It is our very own Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Dark Carnival is a sensory explosion filled with outlandish visual displays and books you can see, touch, and hold—a place where you can read in a quiet corner or have an unexpected conversation. Dark Carnival trades in the magic of experience. In short, it’s everything online ordering is not.

Dark Carnival has been around in all its quirky glory for 41 years (since 1976!) It’s a Berkeley institution that is exceptional for its enchanting displays of the weird and the wonderful—from Theodore Sturgeon, Terry Pratchett and Octavia Butler, to Stephen King, Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman, and Clive Barker, Harry Potter and Edward Gorey and the list goes on. It’s where you can grab the newest Saga comic, peruse an extensive selection of graphic novels, games, tarot decks, and other collectibles—and it’s the kind of place where you can bring kids, Grandma & Grandpa, and your friends visiting from out of town and absolutely everyone will find something cool to take home. The place is a mecca for culture junkies. IMG_5433

Proprietor Jack Rems has been running it solo recently. Yet he has provided the community with years of discovery and delight. Right now is the time to show up, show him some love, and let him know that we want Dark Carnival to exist. If you ever loved exploring the scattered treasures among the aisles, go there now posthaste.

“I don’t know how much being able to shop locally means to people anymore,” Jack said on a recent visit.

Frankly, given what’s happening in the world, we desperately need browse-able spaces like Dark Carnival in our communities — places where we can rummage and explore, and discover adventurous writers with books that satisfy our minds’ desire to be transported. For outcasts, book nerds, freaks, and goths, Dark Carnival is like church. It’s not so much a bookstore as it is other-worldly, with all of the eccentricity and funkiness independent bookstore culture has to offer.

Every now and again, I hear someone lament the day that Cody’s Books closed, or Black Oak Books, or…[name your favorite old bookstore.] It doesn’t matter that it’s been a decade or more. People remember their favorite bookstores as if they’re old friends and they are really. And sometimes, we only realize how much we love these friends after they’re gone. But occasionally, IMG_5427very occasionally, we get fair warning, and with it a chance to demonstrate to our friends that they matter, we love them, and we want them around—and maybe, just maybe, we can change the outcome of the situation. Now is one of those times.

Without Dark Carnival, our world will be a little less mysterious, magical, and fantastical. Can we afford that? I say no. Perhaps if we all show up immediately with dollars in hand, we can make this a happy ending after all. Get thyself to the bookstore!

 

Dark Carnival & Escapist Comics

3086 Claremont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 654-7323

email: books@darkcarnival.com

Open – 10:30am-7:00pm

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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables and the Open Road

By Felisa Rogers

This is an adapted and truncated excerpt from my upcoming memoir, tentatively titled Libre: Secrets of a Hippie Childhood.

 

At the end of the day, we’d read. It was our reward for weathering ten hours on a Mexican highway, our reward for surviving the diesel belch of overloaded sugar cane trucks, the potholes, the zipping motorbikes, the maniacal bus drivers, the sudden herds of cows.

The sinking sun was our signal to get off the road and begin looking for a place to camp. When we’d found a suitable spot, the old Dodge would roll to a stop and we’d all spring into action. While my mother and I set up our beds in the van, my dad would open the back doors and unload our kitchen: the rickety folding table, the grease-encased Colman stove, the ancient cooler, the folding metal lawn chairs, the plastic bins for washing dishes, the box containing my dad’s beloved spices.

And then, the final reward. When everything was in place, and my dad was happily cooking dinner, my mother and I would sigh in unified relief as we pulled out our books and sank into our lawn chairs to read until dinner. After dinner my dad would join us, and we’d read while the sky settled into dusk and the crickets sang and the air began to smell of nighttime. When it got too dark to see, we’d retire to the van, my parents vying for the best light from their single bulb and me with my precious flashlight and battered copy of Anne of Avonlea.

I spent a large chunk of my childhood living in a van. My parents were travel writers and small time importers, and eccentricity was their bread and butter. My dad was the co-author of the hippie cult classic The People’s Guide to Mexico and looked like a cross between Allen Ginsberg and Jerry Garcia; my mom looked like Janis Joplin, studied witchcraft,  and thought that bras were the yoke of the patriarchy. They were obsessed with Mexico. Every winter we left our drafty cabin in Oregon to drive south to Mexico, where we spent months traveling to obscure Indian villages to buy pottery, jewelry, and wooden masks. In the spring we returned to the U.S. to sell our treasures at flea markets and hippie fairs.

In our family, convention was for squares and cheap was a top priority. When possible, my parents eschewed RV parks and hotels, preferring to save money by camping in rest areas, gas station parking lots, Guatemalan alleys, or by the side of the highway. I was used to the roar of semis in the night, and the familiar police refrain: “I’m sorry, but there’s no camping here. You’ll have to move along.”

Though I’d been living on the road since day one, I never quite accepted our nomadic and outlandish existence.

I was embarrassed by our funkiness and I was often homesick, especially when we found ourselves “camping” in strange and lonely places. Books were my constant.

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books allowed me to depart our roadside camp spot for somewhere cozier. With Anne Shirley, I traversed formal parlors, adjusted my starched collar, and sipped raspberry cordial. I drifted through Sunday school picnics while wearing majestic puffed sleeves and attended tea parties with home-baked cookies and plum pudding. In my mind, I was friends with the minister’s lovely and stylish wife, Mrs. Allan, who would no doubt take an interest in my spiritual upbringing.

My reading taste reflected a clear theme. I was obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables series (about an orphan girl who is adopted into a proper middle class home), the Emily of New Moon series (about an orphan girl who is adopted by respectable maiden aunts), and the books of Frances Hodgsen Burnett (about orphan girls who are adopted by rich people).

I read A Little Princess ten times.

Each time I read the rags-to-riches tale, I entertained the possibility that I too had a mysterious benefactor who would begin sending me anonymous gifts, replacing my shabby wardrobe with the finest fashions.

(Suddenly I’d wow my friends by ditching my Mexican flip-flops and Guatemalan overalls for a brand-new Esprit sweatshirt, a Swatch watch, pink Reeboks, a Guess mini skirt and matching acid-washed jean jacket.) When my mysterious transformation was complete, it would be revealed that I was really the heiress to a diamond mine! My benefactor would then whisk me away to a life of luxury. We’d live in lavish hotel suites and subsist on cucumber sandwiches (white bread with crusts removed!) and petit fours (a food I had never actually seen in person). I always finished my daydream with an altruistic flourish—Naturally I’d send money home to my family. My uncle would be able to afford a double wide and my parents could buy all new camping gear!

My voyeurism wasn’t limited to the 19th century. I read about modern suburbia with the same avid interest I had for tales of the paranormal. While the van lumbered up a Oaxacan mountain pass, I traversed the halls of Sweet Valley High. Even at age ten I had misgivings about the banality of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, but that didn’t stop me from relishing the details of their middle class lives. The perfect blonde Wakefields jibed with my fixation on what I was not. I did not have “all-American good looks” or an endless closet full of cute outfits. My tangled brown hair was a far cry from the twins’ shiny blond manes, and I just knew that I wasn’t going to grow up to be a perfect size 6. But the Wakefields didn’t make me despair. Quite the opposite.

By reading, I could seek haven in suburban homes with spotless wall-to-wall carpeting.

As I sat in the backseat of our grimy van while my parents haggled with a woodcarver over the price of a traditional Guerrero devil mask, I daydreamed of Sweet Valley. I complimented Mrs. Wakefield on her home decorating skills. I rode shotgun in the twins’ red Fiat and won Elizabeth’s admiration for my ace reporting for The Oracle. I wooed the boys of Sweet Valley with my sparkling white smile, my perfect bangs, my pristine v-neck sweaters, and my amazing dance moves.

It wasn’t that I hated my life. I loved my parents and our van and our funky home in Oregon. I loved camping on remote beaches and waking to the chatter of parrots. But I couldn’t help noticing that we lived on the fringe of society, scrappy outsiders in a dusty van. The other side of life had a glittering allure. Prim-and-proper parlors were exotic. The pages of my books revealed the secrets of respectable people! I thought that if I studied them carefully enough, someday I might become one.

 

Felisa Rogers recommends:

The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn by John Bellairs

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

Half Magic by Edward Eager

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snider

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg

 

 

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You can subscribe to our list and get notifications for LOAKL here. Have a submission for Readers Recommend? Send it to us at info@LOAKL.com with the subject line: Readers Recommend submission.

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Bay Area Book Lovers: A Quest You Won’t Want to Miss

April 2017 is for Book Lovers

It’s Spring which means emerging from the long winter and getting outside to explore (even if it’s raining!). What better way than to make a point of visiting your favorite bookstores participating in the Book Lover Quest? This month, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) has created the Book Lover Quest to get Bay Area book enthusiasts out to visit as many of the 50 participating local bookstores as possible. In fact, if you visit 10 and turn in your form by April 29th, you will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 worth of books. There will also be smaller prizes given out along the quest. That’s 10 bookstores in 17 days, you can do it!

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 3.07.27 PMIndependent Bookstore Day is April 29th

Plus, April 29th is the Third Annual Independent Bookstore Day and local stores will be celebrating with special events you can plan your day around. You can start out with many of the early kids’ events, stroll over in the afternoon to Mrs. Dalloway’s where there will be a garden raffle and marathon reading of the eponymous classic, then on to a literary happy hour from 4-5pm at Diesel Oakland, and wind your way over to the live music event at Pegasus Oakland or Solano at 7pm, plus super cool bookstore swag and more events are available at many of the other participating stores so check listings. Mark your calendar for this special day on April 29th which is taking place at more than 500 independent bookstores across the country.

We’re lucky to be in the Bay Area where we have a thriving bookstore community. It’s time to celebrate and show our independent bookstores why we love and need them. You can pick up the Book Lover Quest form at any of the participating bookstores or download it here. It’s an impressive map of local independent bookstores you can keep around and show off (I mean “share”) when your friends from out-of-town visit.

 

JOIN THE BOOK LOVER QUEST – Win $1,000 worth of BOOKS!

Running through APRIL 2017 
RULES: The rules are easy. Take the form and visit stores throughout the month of April. Stores sign off on their bookstore line. On April 29, customers will turn in their Quest Forms and those who visited 10 or more stores will be entered in the drawing to win the library of books we’ve collected (worth over $1000).

For more information visit the NCIBA site.

Innovative Newcomer IG THANKS

We’ve Been Nominated for an Oakland Indie Award!

OAKLAND INDIE AWARDS, May 18, Oakland Museum of California

(April 2017 – Oakland, CA) – LOAKL is delighted to announce we’ve been nominated in this year’s Oakland Indie Awards for Innovative Newcomer! It’s a huge honor to be among many exciting new and established businesses in Oakland, including the amazing Ariana Marbley of Esscents of Flowers — also nominated as an Innovative Newcomer — and the incredible Iam Jahi, nominated in the Social Changemaker category.

“It’s a night when people of all ages, cultures, faiths, and genders come together to cheer on those who make our local economy thrive.”

A big shout out to all who nominated us and  others who have supported our mission — to support independent local bookstores by making it convenient to find books across all local independent stores through the LOAKL.com platform. We’re hoping to make it even more convenient to shop online locally, as an alternative to shopping at distant online retailers.

The Indie Awards always throw a great party with unique foods, delicious drinks, and the best in dancing and shopping, so we hope you’ll join us on May 18th. Held in the the inspiring outdoor space of the Oakland Museum of California, it’s sure to be a magical night.

You can buy tix in advance here. Come show your Oakland love!

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Vote for LOAKL!

Pssst…  We need a favor. LOAKL is a semi-finalist for an Idea Cafe Small Business Grant. All you need to do is cast your vote for us here.  Vote by April 13th.

As many of you realize, starting a small business is demanding. This grant will enable LOAKL to reach more customers and help us spread the word about our mission to support local independent bookstores.

Please vote. We appreciate your support!

 

Vote for me in IdeaCafe's Small Business Grant

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American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It

Jennifer Stisa Granick is the director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Her new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It, provides a legal perspective on the shortcomings of privacy laws in the age of mass surveillance. Granick argues that protections haven’t kept pace with the advances of modern surveillance and explains why developments such as the Internet of Things pose unprecedented risks. Her work explains why the topic is more important than ever and ultimately will inform the debate around what’s to be done about it.

“American democracy cannot survive modern surveillance.”

From American Spies:  “U.S. intelligence agencies—the eponymous American Spies—are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding. Weaving the history of American surveillance—from J. Edgar Hoover through the tragedy of September 11th to the fusion centers and mosque infiltrators of today—the book shows that mass surveillance and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. Granick shows how surveillance law has fallen behind while surveillance technology has given American Spies vast new powers. She skillfully guides the reader through proposals for reining in massive surveillance with the ultimate goal of surveillance reform.”

A must read for anyone concerned about the future of privacy and its implications for our democracy.

Read the Ars Technica review.

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Available at LOAKL, request it here.

Amazon Go Promotional Video Still

Is it Time for Amazon Go … or No?

When I first read about Amazon Go, a futuristic new Amazon store rumored to be coming in 2017, wherein cashiers are replaced with a new machine learning-app that tracks what you buy at checkout—frankly, I was alarmed. This is not my idea of a neighborhood store that I want to frequent. While the video makes shopping look effortless and hip, the reality of unmanned urban storefronts is sure to be different from the idealized version presented here. Not only does this scenario rely heavily on automation, eliminating jobs for cashiers and other retail positions, it includes cameras with “computer-vision technology” to capture what consumers are picking up off the shelf and monitoring them the entire time they’re shopping.  If it makes you feel uneasy, you wouldn’t be alone. A recent survey found that consumers are a bit skeptical about the concept of Amazon Go and whether or not it would solve more problems than it introduces.

There are so many ways to improve shopping and make it a better experience. Removing and replacing the people who work in retail stores is not the answer. Compare the proposed Amazon Go shopping experience with the one you’d find in an Apple retail store. At an Apple store, you can expect friendly people to make eye contact and greet you when you walk in, staff who are knowledgable about the products and can answer questions. With mobile checkout devices, Apple staff can check you out quickly and efficiently. One leaves impressed and wanting to return. Designing for human interaction isn’t hard. It just takes a commitment…to humans.

While no doubt it may seem to make financial sense to increase efficiency by eliminating humans, I think the question is: Do you want to be in a store with minimal interaction with other humans? Or do you find interacting with people when you’re out and about kinda comforting? What if you had a question or something happened and you found yourself needing assistance? I know I prefer to be around people. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to shop local. I appreciate the scale and convenience of having access to what I need in my neighborhood and often times, knowing the people there makes all the difference.

The coffee and sandwich shop around the corner is an independent corner grocery store run by someone who immigrated here many years ago. The store’s business has already been hit hard by the Trader Joe’s that opened a few years ago. I’ve known the owner of this corner grocery store for twenty years. He’s watched my son grow up. My Dad visits regularly and knows him too. In fact, he always asks after my Dad and my son when I go into buy a bagel or coffee. Do I want his store replaced by an Amazon Go? No way! What about your favorite local stores? How would they be impacted by a development like Amazon Go?

 

 

 

 

Walden Pond Books.

How to Love Your Local Bookstore

Whether it’s sneaking upstairs to sit near the window in the poetry room at City Lights or sinking into the big red chair at Diesel, the Bay Area has some of the most revered and iconic independent bookstores. For me, these stores are sacred ground—cherished spaces where I can browse the world of ideas and experience culture.

I firmly believe having a local bookstore enriches a community. It seems clear in uncertain times, community is what we rely on to get through the day—whether that’s a community of like-minded friends, co-workers, or neighbors, or the businesses in the neighborhoods where we shop. As social creatures, we seek the camaraderie of peers for companionship and understanding.

Throughout the East Bay, there are many trusted bookstores that anchor the communities they serve (Laurel Book Store, Walden Pond Books, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Pegasus, Owl & Company, Diesel, Marcus Book Store, Books Inc.) and each is worthy of an idle afternoon.

While it was sad to see some of my favorite stores close over the years (Modern Times, Black Oak, Cody’s, Stacey’s), it’s comforting to see stores like Walden Pond (which has been open for 40 years) and exciting newcomers like E.M. Wolfman (which features an art gallery, art events, and innovative publishing.) In fact, Diesel Books’ owners are ready to move on and recently announced their desire to transfer the store to longtime employee Brad Johnson who is making plans to take over.

Bookstores offer connection to community and culture—connecting ideas and bringing together like-minded people, serving as cultural institutions in our neighborhoods. Where else can we meet authors, browse with relative anonymity, and get exposure to such a wealth of great writing and commentary shaping our world?

Bookstore staff add value to this experience. As real people with real opinions who help us locate things, make suggestions, and reveal details about books and authors that we wouldn’t otherwise know, they enhance our experience of being there in physical proximity to books. Plus, bookstore owners have a commitment to our neighborhoods, making them better, by hiring local people and paying local sales and property taxes. This translates to local jobs and tax revenues that support schools, roads, and infrastructure within our very own communities. You don’t get that when you shop a massive online retailers.

LOAKL was founded on the idea that bookstores are vital and we need to shop at them in person and online. We’re aiming to make it easier to find books across all the local independent bookstores in our area, to help keep dollars within our community.  We source our inventory from local bookstores (for a full list of bookstores we source from and links to their sites check here.)

We believe when customers can find what they want in their neighborhood easily—and support community in the process—there will be no need to go elsewhere.

In 2017, it’s more important than ever that we vote with our dollars to help create the connections and community we want to see in the world. One way to do this is to show local bookstores a little more love. Next time you walk by your favorite bookstore, stop in and tell the person behind the counter how much you appreciate all that they do and why the store holds special significance for you. And maybe more importantly, remember that next time you’re thinking about ordering something online. If we all change our buying behavior, a little love can go a long way.

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Yes, YOU Can Make a Difference! Here’s How

How do we foster a democratic society? What are the values we want society to have? As it turns out, answering these questions is not a job we can outsource. It’s a job for all of us!

Modern democracy requires all of us to get involved in our communities and make our voices and our values heard. Many of us, however, are busy and not sure where to plug in. We wonder how we can help and where to get involved. Well, worry no more. UC Berkeley Professor and longtime US policy advisor Arthur Blaustein has written a follow-up to his previous book, Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport.  Just released this month, Making a Difference: The Ultimate Volunteer Handbook is a comprehensive guide to civic participation and the best opportunities for volunteering. Blaustein encourages everyone to heed the call and find and get involved in an organization we care about as part of our civic duty. He makes it clear that each one of us has something valuable to contribute—all we need is the will and the initiative to take the first step and start somewhere. The book offers many great examples and worthy organizations where volunteers are needed.

Given current events, there’s no time like the present.

 

Praise for Making a Difference

 

“Blaustein’s effort will help a new generation of Americans approach community service—and their own lives—in a way that will strengthen our democracy.”

—Secretary of State John Kerry

 

“Looking for creative and useful ways to benefit communities across America? Read this book.”

—Senator Edward M. Kennedy

 

“If you’re wondering what the world is coming to . . .how to remain hopeful . . . where to begin. The answer is [Make a Difference] . . . Please take this book with you into the rest of your life.”

—Barbara Kingsolver

 

“Arthur Blaustein has kept the faith. His book will help us regain the heights and take democracy back!”

—Bill Moyers

 

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You can order a copy of Making a Difference here.