The book was a relatively quick read with vivid stories and examples of humanity that do make it powerful and inspiring. Also, it was an extremely insightful book into the mind of Wellstone as well as into my own mind and conception of liberalism.
What struck me as most interesting was the comparison between what Wellstone was saying and how Barack Obama ran his 2008 campaign. Here is Wellstone in 2001 telling the Democratic Party it must do more in the way of community organizing and now we have what amounts to the community organizer President. That Obama spoke in terms of stories and the lives of people seemed right out of the pages of this book. Did anyone else pick up on this correlation?
The other thing that struck me was how closely my fundamental beliefs about government are aligned with Wellstone. As he says we must reclaim the idea that "government can be a force for good". For too long we have ceded this argument...
From health care to education I was struck by the wonderful mixture of statistic and story and the ever present idea that people do not vote based upon policy proposals so much as on whether you are speaking to their concerns. He was absolutely dead on accurate with his analysis of education and high stakes testing and I am saddened that he was not able to live long enough to help us fight against the outrageous pieces of No Child Left Behind.
That being said, please feel free to use the comments section as well as the live chat room found below to discuss the book. I will be back later today and this evening to continue discussion. Also, if you are interested in joining the book club, Sign up now...
There is no fee (aside from purchasing the book) and you do not need to live in the area to participate!