Essential reading for aspiring female policymakers and political leaders.

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EVERY DAY IS ELECTION DAY

A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO WINNING ANY OFFICE, FROM THE PTA TO THE WHITE HOUSE

An activist and public affairs strategist’s intelligent, no-nonsense guide for women seeking to hold elected office.

While feminist movements have helped women make inroads into the halls of power, the world of politics is still dominated by males. In this take-charge guide, Sive offers practical advice to women on organizing successful political campaigns that can help women become anything from PTA presidents to U.S. senators and beyond. Using her own experiences along with stories from political women at the municipal, state and national levels, Sive tackles such issues as branding, image management, networking, fundraising, handling the media and dealing with the challenges of gender. Women must learn to shrug off sexist criticisms (“If being blunt and efficient means being called a bitch, so what?”) but also be ready to “haul out the pink sweater” when necessary. They must also learn to play hardball if they want to win since “softball is only played at campaign photo-ops.” At the same time, women must also know when to put aside differences and negotiate compromises. Failure is an inevitable part of the process as well. And to be successful, women candidates need to be able to transform loss into an opportunity for a future win. Above all, women must adopt a no-limits attitude to achieve power. The higher the position they seek, the more likely it is that they will have to make sacrifices, including those affecting the work-life balance. Commitment to a political life is no easy task, as Sive makes abundantly clear. Yet leadership positions for women are now not only possible, but necessary since the laws that benefit women ultimately benefit their families and everyone whose lives they touch.

Essential reading for aspiring female policymakers and political leaders.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61374-662-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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No one’s mind will be changed by Karl’s book, but it’s a valuable report from the scene of an ongoing train wreck.

FRONT ROW AT THE TRUMP SHOW

The chief White House and Washington correspondent for ABC provides a ringside seat to a disaster-ridden Oval Office.

It is Karl to whom we owe the current popularity of a learned Latin term. Questioning chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, he followed up a perhaps inadvertently honest response on the matter of Ukrainian intervention in the electoral campaign by saying, “What you just described is a quid pro quo.” Mulvaney’s reply: “Get over it.” Karl, who has been covering Trump for decades and knows which buttons to push and which to avoid, is not inclined to get over it: He rightly points out that a reporter today “faces a president who seems to have no appreciation or understanding of the First Amendment and the role of a free press in American democracy.” Yet even against a bellicose, untruthful leader, he adds, the press “is not the opposition party.” The author, who keeps his eye on the subject and not in the mirror, writes of Trump’s ability to stage situations, as when he once called Trump out, at an event, for misrepresenting poll results and Trump waited until the camera was off before exploding, “Fucking nasty guy!”—then finished up the interview as if nothing had happened. Trump and his inner circle are also, by Karl’s account, masters of timing, matching negative news such as the revelation that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election with distractions away from Trump—in this case, by pushing hard on the WikiLeaks emails from the Democratic campaign, news of which arrived at the same time. That isn’t to say that they manage people or the nation well; one of the more damning stories in a book full of them concerns former Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen, cut off at the knees even while trying to do Trump’s bidding.

No one’s mind will be changed by Karl’s book, but it’s a valuable report from the scene of an ongoing train wreck.

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4562-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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