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American Manifesto

Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves

List Price: $26.00

January 14, 2020 | Hardcover | 5.7 x 8.2, 208 pages | ISBN 9781640092808
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Do you fear for our democracy? Are you perplexed by Trumpism? Are you ready to throw in the towel? Don’t! This is your guidebook to reassembling our hyperpolarized American society in six (not-so-easy) steps, written by cohost of WNYC’s On the Media Bob Garfield

As is often observed, Trump is a symptom of a virus that has been incubating for at least fifty years. But not often observed is where the virus is imbedded: in the psychic core of our identity. In American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves, popular media personality Bob Garfield examines the tragic confluence of the American preoccupation with identity and the catastrophic disintegration of the mass media. Garfield investigates how we’ve gotten to this moment when our identity is threatened by both the left and the right, when e pluribus unum is no longer a source of national pride, and why, when looking through this lens of identity, the rise of Trumpism is no surprise. Overlaying this crisis is the rise of the Facebook-Google duopoly and the filter bubble of social media, where identity is insular and immutable.

But fear not! WNYC’s On the Media cohost Garfield has ideas about how we may counter the forces of fragmentation–the manifesto itself: six steps to take to reassemble our fractured society. A quick, fascinating read, American Manifesto offers not only a vision of a country in extremis, but also a plan for how to address the ways in which our democracy is imperiled. Provocative, profound, and sometimes hilariously profane, American Manifesto is a call to action like no other.

About Bob Garfield

BOB GARFIELD is the cohost of public radio's weekly Peabody Award-winning On the Media and has been a globally prominent media and advertising critic for three decades. He is also the founding cohost of Slate's podcast on language, Lexicon Valley. Garfield has been a columnist or contributing editor for The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, and the op-ed page of USA Today. He has also written for The New York Times, Playboy, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, and Wired. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.


Praise for American Manifesto

"In the vast, bland American wasteland of homogenized, regurgitated media, there is a lone, heroic taco truck. Bob Garfield is that taco truck. Nourishing. Defiant. Also very smart and very brave. American Manifesto is his spicy masterpiece." --Alec Baldwin

"Short, specific, and droll. It is very much worth reading, for ideas about the next stage in the world's recovery from failed, weak, and in other ways troubled media systems." --James Fallows, The Atlantic

"Garfield's (Bedfellows, 2012, etc.) manifesto stands out from those already published partly because of the specific proposals but mostly because of the breezy . . . tone . . . An interesting manifesto that will incite debate."]--Kirkus Reviews

"Longtime media critic and journalist Garfield examines the salient factors that shaped American politics prior to the 2016 election and that continue to influence voter attitudes as the 2020 campaigns get underway . . . Garfield offers practical advice on how to transform outrage into positive action. Fans of his Peabody Award-winning public radio program, On the Media, will recognize Garfield's bold yet grounded humor, while his trenchant analysis and surprisingly hopeful vision will motivate readers to pay attention and get involved." --Booklist

"In a time when explanations seem to be in short order and solutions virtually extinct, books like Bob Garfield's American Manifesto are a godsend. Here is a serious, probing work that gets to the heart of why we're in this political and cultural crisis and, miraculously enough, provides plausible solutions as to how to find our way out. Absolutely necessary reading." --Jared Yates Sexton, author of The Man They Wanted Me to Be

"In American Manifesto, Bob Garfield bares our national soul, and it's hellishly dark. We've divided ourselves by everything under the sun, eroding the idea of America as the common home of the many. With wit, passion, and insight, Garfield dissects the problem and issues a call to action. He will convince you that it's time to get out the door." --Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University and author of How America Lost Its Mind

"Bob Garfield speaks truth not just to power, but to the dangerously disempowered. Unflinchingly direct yet courageously sympathetic, his American Manifesto deconstructs the most infectious media virus of all time. Here is the vaccination that our collective immune system so desperately needs." --Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and Team Human

Praise for Can't Buy Me Like

"This is a fabulous book that describes a revolutionary new vision for marketing, the Relationship Era, based on purpose, authenticity, trust and care. Written in an easy-to-read style and full of interesting stories, this book is both inspiring and fun. I give it my highest recommendation."--John Mackey, founder and co-CEO, Whole Foods

"This book is funny, a bit profane and utterly profound. At Patagonia, we cherish our relationships, but these guys have located and explained dimensions of the Relationship Era that opened my eyes--and mind. What an enjoyable and enlightening journey." --Casey Sheahan, CEO, Patagonia

"Can't Buy Me Like speaks clearly to the challenges every CEO and CMO is con-fronting. It identifies the collapse of mass marketing as we have known it and provides example after example of how successful companies build trust in the 'new world.'" --Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and co-CEO, Panera Bread

"The digital and social revolution has challenged even the most sophisticated mar-keters among us. But thankfully Garfield and Levy have given us a much needed blueprint for thriving in this new relationship era of marketing. This is the book I don't want my competitors to read." --Eric Ryan, cofounder, Method, and author of The Method Method

"At last! Garfield and Levy have delivered a manifesto on what really matters to brands today: honest relationships. They do so by focusing not on our shiny social technologies but on the fundamentally changed relationship between business and customer in a world that looks less like a megaphone and much more like a network. Read this book; then challenge your business to live by it!" --David Rogers, author of The Network Is Your Customer

"Can't Buy Me Like compellingly captures one of the biggest trends of our time. If there is a gap between a business's image and its reality, it will soon be found out and the business will be punished for it. Using their in-depth industry knowledge in this beautifully written and immensely readable book, Garfield and Levy describe in detail how to succeed in the new world." --David Jones, global chief executive officer, HAVAS, and author of Who Cares Wins

"Garfield and Levy show how smart, conscious marketers can leverage today's extraordinary technologies to build authentic relationships with customers based on trust, authenticity and shared purpose. This book will usher in a new renaissance in which the marketing function can finally fulfill its own largely unrealized higher purpose." --Raj Sisodia, coauthor of Conscious Capitalism and Firms of Endearment, marketing professor, Bentley University

"At Zappos, relationships have always been a top priority. Can't Buy Me Like explores why this is so important for all companies. Garfield and Levy smartly describe how to build relationships with customers, vendors and employees to create an extraordinary business." --Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO,, Inc.

Praise for The Chaos Scenario

"Now, for the citizens, consumers, congregants and audience (plus members of the media's teetering Old Guard), The Chaos Scenario; just might be the killer app to help sort out those changes. --Associated Press

"Tales of total industrial collapse have never been so fun! Garfield's analysis of the total disruption of the media industry (and how it may be reborn) is right, prescient and wildly entertaining." --Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and Free

Praise for And Now a Few Words From Me

"[Bob Garfield] is irreverent, funny and tough." --USA Today

"If you crave insight into the wacky, zany, madcap--albeit very serious--business of advertising, this is a great place to begin." --Miami Herald

"And Now a Few Words from Me is a must read for all young people who want to get into advertising, and for all of us old people who want to get out." --Jerry Della Femina, author of From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor

"Garfield is going to piss a lot of people off, because he has the guts to tell it like it is." --Sergio Zyman, author of The End of Advertising as We Know It

"No one knows the ad biz--the good, the bad, and the ugly--better than Bob Garfield. This book offers sorely needed advice." --Jack Trout, author of A Genie's Wisdom

"What Bob Garfield achieves here--simultaneous seriousness and irreverence--is a very hard thing to pull off." --Kurt Anderson, author of Turn of the Century

"A brazenly funny . . . and hard-hitting book." --Publishers Weekly

Praise for Waking Up Screaming from the American Dream

"Garfield has a keen eye for the sweet absurdity and pathos of the American dreamer." --The New York Times Book Review

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