Rebuild the Dream
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Rebuild the Dream

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The "American Dream” is the national ethos of the United States. It’s the dream of a country where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can live with dignity, provide for your family, prosper, and give your children a better life. It’s also the uniting principle that a country that strives for greatness must also take care of its most vulnerable in times of hardshi...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Nation Books (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Adi
BOOK REVIEW: Rebuild the Dream by Van Jones

I read this book yesterday and was not at all impressed. Here we have a whole book written by a man who went to Princeton, who started a grass-roots movement from scratch, who worked for Obama's administration, and I barely learned a thing. First of all, his prose is horrifically boring. His narrative interweaves his personal, life experience and events into some political theorizing. I felt excited about that before I read the book, precisely because p...more
Mal Warwick
I always knew Van Jones was smart, but I didn’t know just how smart until I read Rebuild the Dream. In recent years, Jones has emerged as one of the most charismatic and outspoken younger leaders of our time. This book proves he has also become one of the most insightful, too.

We live at a time when far too few of us can make sense of what’s happening around us. With the incessant noise of the news media, our full immersion online from dawn to dusk, and the endless distractions of entertainment r...more
James Edward Mills
The problem with the American dream is too often we’re caught sleeping. At the very least we let our attention wander in the bliss of freedom as the things in life that matter most fail neglected or are simply taken away.

In his new book former special adviser to the Obama White House Van Jones drafts a thoughtful plan for the reconstruction of simple American ideals and principles that secure the dream of a better life for everyone willing to work hard and play fair. With a vision centered on th...more
Scot
Very readable, accessible to all. Jones comes up with a grid plan to help readers better understand and evaluate what it takes for a popular movement not only to arise in contemporary American society, but to sustain itself, become established, and grow, while remaining true to its ideals. He summarizes and juxtaposes the Dream of Hope movement that propelled Obama to the White House, and the subsequent rise of the Tea Party and Occupy Movements. He also offers his own progressive vision of what...more
Bedson30
This is the best non-fiction book I've read in ages, and I wish every American citizen would read it! Jones writes about complex stuff in language that most people will find readable. One of the comments indicated that there was nothing new here, but this person must be far better informed than I am, which may well be true, but I feel there are many people like myself who will instead find it clarifying, as it discusses the many frustrating aspects of political life in America today, and brings...more
Jennifer
Well-written, interesting and inspiring for those of us looking for practical ideas to stregthen our nation instead of remaining mired in the muck. Great ideas and inspiration for those who believe people instead of corporations should be running this country. Very recommended.

*"There are only two kinds of smart people in this world, son. There are those smart people who take simple things and make them sound complicated, to enrich themselves. And there are those who take complicated things and...more
Melissa
As a student of progressive politics, much of what was in this book I'd heard before. The goals and messaging for how America can move forward have been repeated many times by others in the progressive movement, especially in 2012 during the presidential election (this book came out in early 2012, before most of the 2012 campaigns were underway). There were not many (perhaps any) new proposals for how we should move the economy forward, which was surprising based on Jones' background (he created...more
Darren
I was hesitant to give this the full five stars but I think in a couple years I may re-read this and realize this book's greatness.

I don't seem to recall the Van Jones controversy/resignation and when I picked this book up I didn't really know who the guy was until I started into the first few chapters.

Jones examines the rise of three recent movements in America - the Obama campaign of 2008, the Tea Party and Occupy.

I really enjoyed his assessment of how Obama rose and how things sort of flat-l...more
Naomi
A fine analysis of popular American political movements of the past decade and a call to mobilizing for social change that helps everyone, this timely text deserves study and consideration and adoption of many measures by local groups who care about a democracy that is for and by the people, and those concerned about a healthy and thriving U.S.
Maren
I took notes on main ideas and copied some data and donated my book to the local public library.

In short, justice and equality is what we are fighting for (we currently have a multiracial, multifaith, gender fabulous population). Make real the promises of democracy. Deep patriots (vs cheap patriots) love the whole country: red states, blue states including everyone in the teaparty.

America is not broke, it is rich. This is not a crisis, it is a scam.

One way we can get started with changing the c...more
Carolyn
Mr. Jones has been a persistent advocate for saving the planet and recommending new clean air industries that could hire thousands and also diminish the high percentages of unemployment especially in the African-American inner cities.

He recounts his years working with grassroots populace to save the planet and his stint in the White House and his decision to resign. One gets the feeling that clean air wasn't a priority for the administration although focusing on it would provide jobs to re-build...more
David02139
Talks about quantifying movements as emotional and logistical matrix of inside game outside game, heart and head. will add here the organizations that he mentions that are trying to work with occupy movement.
References to follow up on:
Music
Occupy Sound Volume One
Organization United Re:public
Code for America
Rebuild the Dream
Progressive Majority
New Organization Institute
The working families Party
Campaign for America's Future
Take back the land
Occupy Homes
Book: Rachel Botsman "What's mine is YOur...more
Elizabeth Desole
I appreciated how the author explained the evolution of his ideas. He also was very careful not to "throw anyone under the bus" despite the fact that he could have some bitter things to say about his time in the Obama administration. Despite this, I felt that he really tried to be as fair as he could be. He also reasonably outlined his suggestions for rebuilding the American economy. That said, it was a book that doubtlessly preaches to the converted.
There were also some amazing quotes form oth...more
Julia
If you don't know what to think of Obama anymore, this book provides a very intelligent analysis of what happened these past 3 years and how we can push Obama to be the President we wanted him to be. Jones' analysis of the Tea Party and the Occupy movement are also astute and easy to understand. I would recommend this book to anyone who votes or cares about the direction our country is going, and I especially recommend it for frustrated, progressive activists!
John
Van Jones is inspirational. I wish he were running for President.
If we could make his ideas reality our country would be on a path to growth on every level. Sadly, at this time, the best starting point, Occupy Wall Street, seems to be almost entirely dead. I hope he and others find a way to revive it, or something that will take America toward a sustainable, less destructive, future.
Joan
This is a wonderful read - it's the first time I really feel like there's hope for us in this country. I love his way of objectively and insightfully looking at what happened with the Obama election and presidency as well as the Tea Party, Occupy and 99% movements. I would just skip the intro and save it for last. It's best just to get right in to the heart of the book.
Kevin Hoag
Very well presented and refreshing look at democracy for all of the people. The thought that I kept having is what a shame it was that Van Jones was so quickly forced out of the Obama administration based on false accusations. What is wrong with a society where we lose the contribution of such important voices based on the manipulation of a few.
Jason
Petty good book overall. Written very much from a liberal point of view and a lot of his forward-moving ideas seem like common sense for the most part. I do think his analysis of how the mass of Obama supporters just seemed to fade after the election was spot on.
Erin Coe
I wanted to like this book. I really, REALLY wanted to like it. However, as Van Jones himself pointed out in the book, we liberals just aren't good at making our ideals sound eXcItInG. Which is why I couldn't even finish this one. :-(
Rebecca
A great perspective on the workings of government and people and how the two can be most effective. It is slanted though also fairly objective of the first Obama presidency and offering solutions that are intended for everyone.
James Hollomon
Today, May 30, 2012 the longstanding request to the public library paid off. The Boston Public Library finally received their copy.

I'll post some stars and thoughts on the content after I have a chance to read it.
James
Interesting viewpoints consistent throughout, particularly his take on deep patriotism vs cheap patriotism and his thoughts for moving forward the 99 percent for 100% not 99 vs one.
Janette
Loved it - I hope to see Mr. Jones in politics one day and think he could make a positive difference
Dylan Easterday
Pretty well written but seems to tend towards a pretty biased insider view of the current administration.
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Anthony "Van" Jones is the Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Appointed by Barack Obama in March 2009, the newly created position will find Jones working with various "agencies and departments to advance the administration's climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities."

Jon...more
More about Van Jones...
The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems The Green Collar Economy The Green Collar Economy Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects

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