Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy
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Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From an acclaimed, original observer of media and culture: how we can draw upon popular fantasies to create an alternative politics through imagination and spectacle--a twenty-first-century manifesto for the left.
What do Paris Hilton, "Grand Theft Auto," Las Vegas, and a McDonald's commercial have in common with progressive politics? Not much. And, as Stephen Duncombe bri...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published January 31st 2007 by New Press, The (first published January 8th 2007)
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There's less to be frustrated with here than in Duncombe's zine history, but I ultimately suspect that this is because it is difficult to disagree with Duncombe's politics when they are so like my own. His overall argument that progressive politics needs to abandon rational and divisive thought in favor of embracing fantasy and dreams in order to cater to humans' innate desires is interesting, but not quite fleshed out enough to suggest exactly how it might happen. Further, his imaginings of par...more
Mar 28, 2007 Onnesha added it
Recommends it for: politics
Pretty interesting analysis of how progressive politicians need to embrace the tools of manufacturing reality: advertising. The book was a little rambly and irritating (a lot of "it is, but it isn't..") but made solid points. The book takes off from that freaky quote that Ron Suskind extracted from someone in the Bush administration about how he [Suskind] and others don't get it because they're living in the "reality-based" community whereas he and the Bush admin create reality. I'm sort of obse...more
this book makes a lot of good arguments that progressives/leftists need to hear. the argument is more complex than activists simply appropriating strategies used by corporations and their advertising teams. we need to learn to tap into people's emotions, hopes, dreams, and passions the same way that corporations successfully do (to make us feel inadequate, and buy their products!). moreover, we need to tap into our own so that we can bring people into our organizations and movements. many of us...more
Aug 20, 2007 Lydia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: radical performers/ activists in general
Shelves: justread
This book was a bit on the academic-y side for me, but it tackled a lot of issues that i think about a lot, namely: how to better incorporate our ideas of a better society into our methods of protest, how to make a point and have fun doing it, and how to use the system to defeat itself...

It's not a "how-to" book but an exploration of the issue, which I liked. But the author didn't mention Bread and Puppet once, which I thought was silly. My sweetheart Kevin is one of the organizers of the HONK!...more
Steev Hise
Jan 18, 2008 Steev Hise rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: activists, progressives, political artists
Shelves: politics
Really inspiring, at least that someone in academia is recognizing and deeply thinking about this serious need for rejuvenating left activism through play, art, spectacle, infotainment, what have you.

It's a little LESS surprising or educational than I had hoped - basically all the examples he used were old, stuff i already knew about - the zapatistas, reclaim the streets, billionaires for bush, etc. but the frame he puts it all in makes it worth reading.
Most recent book written by my grad advisor. Well researched and thought out analysis of what it means to a progressive or radical activist/organizer in the "Age of the Spectacle." Plus, I'm listed in the acknowledgement, so I gotta represent. :P
Jul 09, 2008 Lizard rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: activists, teachers, and social justice leaders
an insightful look into the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the contemporary left, Dream is a deeply inspiring and highly readable call to action for art activists, teachers, and social justice leaders everywhere.
found this book while looking for the smart meme collectives book called "ReImagining Change." and it ain't no coincidence that this book is in bibliography for the book that i was initially for.
Jul 07, 2008 Alycia added it
Shelves: politics
I was far more excited to hear Duncombe speak in person about this book than I am to read it. I couldn't do it now but maybe I'll return to it.
It's always a good time to have professional wrestling compared to Bretchian theater.
made me want to take off my clothes and run in the streets to make a better world.
Jul 15, 2011 Ida marked it as to-read
recommended by Ben S
jonathan berger
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