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Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The must-have guide for young progressives looking to run for local office, complete with contributions from elected officials and political operatives.

You’ve been depressed since the night of November 8, 2016. You wore black to work the next morning. You berated yourself for your complacency during the Obama years. You ranted on Twitter. You deleted Twitter. You sent
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Shari Suarez
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun and snarky guide to running for office that is meant for liberals and people upset about last year's elections. It's an interesting look at how to run a campaign, particularly for something local. It isn't just for people wanting to run for office though. The author is adept at giving you a civics 101 lesson as well as letting you know how to support candidates that you want to vote for. If you're easily offended by swearing or if you're a conservative, this book isn't for you.
You may ask yourself why I, a German, read a guide on how to run for office in the US. Well, I, like the author herself, am a news junkie and huge The West Wing fan. American politics are fascinating, even if it's more like a garbage fire on kerosine right now. Nevertheless, learning more about the process and the different positions in politics was interesting. Plus, now I have something to point to, in case one of my friends in the US may have political aspirations.

The guide is easy to read
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinarily practical, useful, no-BS advice for running for office or running a campaign. Funny and inspiring but most of all: HELPFUL.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, non-fiction
I only did read parts of it that's interesting/relevant to me, but even if you're not interested in running, this is a good book to read - even if just portions of it - to get a layman's sense of what goes inside running for office and a political campaign, so that as a citizen, voter or just a political observer, you know how our elections and campaigns actually work before you make any assumptions or form opinions on candidates that are running and our election process itself, such as issues ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I'll be recommending to all my politically-minded friends. After reading this book, running for office some day feels like an inevitability instead of a what if. Even if you're just looking for more ways to become more involved in politics, you gotta read this one.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Basic and insightful
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
According to this book, written for those age 34 and under, I am too old to run for something. Thank goodness for that!

Even so, it is a powerful tool for the younger generation(s) to have as they ponder entering the political landscape. It's brutally honest and full of resources to help any young person who wants to run for office have a good campaign. Or for those who don't like the limelight, volunteer on and support a campaign or candidate.

I bought a copy to give to a young man that I'd like
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was hoping for an overview on how to get involved in politics, how to make a difference, and learn how the system works. Instead, this book was a stream of consciousness written far too close to an election loss (Hillary Clinton) by someone that was too personally invested in that campaign to take an objective view. This is not well written and falls back on vulgarity and bashing the current administration far too often. There is a good portion of this book where the author tries to motivate ...more
Maura Foley
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a really great overview of campaigns even if you're not thinking of running. I especially appreciated the sections on how to get involved if you're not the candidate. Loved the author's no nonsense advice. A wonderful, empowering guide on how to improve our country in the age of Trump.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was interesting to read this book in the midst of the mid term elections when 100 women got significant public service positions. The audiobook was great because the sections from contributing writers were read by the actual people.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
I don't plan on running, but I would definitely recommend this to anyone who does or to anyone who has EVER considered it. Definitely inspired me to volunteer more and to donate! What an amazing organization.
Christine B.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Fun and informative. (I'm not planning on running, but I thought it would be useful for thinking about political organizing.)
Becca Tullman
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This guide broke down the overwhelming process of wondering where to even start with running for something into clear concise pieces with lots of specific usable advice. It also included suggestions for how and what to search on Google to get more into depth. Even if you have no intention of running, it's a quick and clear read that can demystify some of the political process and give you a few hints of other ways to become an engaged and active citizen.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 starts for the concept alone. A how to guide for someone who wants to create positive change in their community instead of simply complaining. I thought the author spent more time talking down certain political parties and candidates. This made what could have been a timeless book very “2017.” She also spends some time speaking about image which I wish she would have taken to heart. As a millennial woman who is also a public servant I would never use the language she used around the people I ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this fast-paced no-nonsense guide; I wish I had found it earlier in my own campaign! Many of the tactics weren't applicable to my small race, but were insightful nonetheless. Highly recommend this to anyone who's frustrated with our government - it has some great rationale around why you should run for a local office, and how it's not as difficult as you think.
Tess Huelskamp
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
decent book outlining steps you'd need to run for local office (read it before giving it as a gift ;) ).

I just pursed this book but if you were seriously considering that id imagine it'd be helpful. tone was encouraging and sarcastic (but not overly so IMO) and the necessary information was organized and easy to find

if I were actually considering running I'm sure this would be a good resource; even though I'm not there were a lot of instructions for what to do to get more involved
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I expected to thumb through this and not really read it, but I got caught up in the honesty and directness of the text along with the imperative to do something. I have often thought that the current resistance movement lacks the guts for the next steps-- its not enough to protest, you have to VOTE and you have to ELECT alternative candidates! and help fashion the policies that will bring us back to some semblance of humanity. I plan to buy copies of this book as a guide for myself and for some ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Really easy read, super informative. Will definitely consult this book a lot in the coming months.
Cynthia Turner
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
I liked the information and the order it was given, for how one would go about getting elected for a political office. It is a useful book for those reasons.
Njon Sanders
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that cemented my decision to run for office and the book that will be required reading for anyone who works on my campaign. It sheds light on the nuts and bolts of the process and details how to run an honest campaign that represents the best of the candidate. Much of the content seems commonsensical but it's the validating kind that you need to hear from a trusted professional. My best read this year!
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Decisions are made by those who show up. In the wake of the 2016 election there has been a wave of people who have decided they will run for office. Seats previously left uncontested, leaving the incumbent to coast to re-elections were challenged. Seats previously held by one party comfortably for years, maybe even decades, were flipped to the other party. In an off-year election, usually there is little interest in running for office. Not this time.

Author Litman is one of the people behind the
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amanda Litman does a fantastic job of laying out not only why you should run for something, but gives a primer on how you can do it.

The thing is, a democracy is a government of the people. It’s our job to - our duty - to hold office. Or at least actively help people get there.

And Ms. Litman reminds us over and over and over again, that Yes! We can do this!

Donald Trump is president forget everything you know about politics. You are qualified to run for office.

Think you’re not qualified?
The Suburban Eclectic
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, how-to
After I was able to pick myself up off the floor after the 2016 election and a disastrous PTA campaign season (the latter a precursor for the gutter politics that has since followed) I needed something inspiring and Run for Something was it. Run for Something restored my faith in politicians ( just kidding, that hasn't happened), but I am pleased to see the number of new faces running, particularly in local races. Litman offers sound and practical advice that is easy to follow. This book is ...more
A great look at how politics work in U.S. and how you can get involved. There's great advice for people of all interest levels. The book is written by someone from the Democratic party (so there is a strong bias) but the underlying information works the same no matter your political leanings.

There are also a number of stories and quotes written by politicians. Most struck me as pretty boring but they do offer sincere looks at what politicians think about different aspects of running for/holding
Sarah Eshelman
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book in a bookstore with all intentions of not buying it (because I should save money, because I have no shelfspace, because...because...).

Well, reader, I bought the book.

The text essentially gives the roadmap to political campaigns, with both pep talks to encourage and real talk to illuminate the kind of lifestyle a political campaign creates. It is both practical and inspiring, though the decided political slant would definitely put many readers off.

If you are interested in
Christa Van
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
If you are running for office, you should check out this guide book that puts it in very simple terms the things you have to do to run a successful campaign. And not all campaigns end in victory and the author is very clear about that reality. After all, she worked on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and is now the co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, a PAC that helps newcomers who are deciding it is time for them to get involved. Highly recommended to anyone who is ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, encouraging, inspiring book for anyone yearning to make a difference. It's written by a progressive, so it definitely slants to the left (and has a fair amount of profanity), but the advice is really nonpartisan. It's full of practical details about why it's worth it to run (even if you'll lose), how to actually do it, what strategies work, and more. Even if you don't want to run, but want to support a campaign, it's worth the read.
Safiya Braylor
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had a fantastic time reading this book! As someone who has played around with the idea of running, or helping someone run, it was nice to have all the details of running a campaign in one place. It was a quick, easy read that I know I can reference back to in the future. The book even recommended further reading to enhance my campaign knowledge!
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Want to run for office? Enjoy political campaigns? Want to help others run? Want to improve your community? This is a great read from an alum of the Obama & Clinton campaigns featuring guest portions from many others who have been at the forefront of democratic campaigns including HRC herself. Great read with lots of good information.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great handbook if you’re looking for sound advice in running for office. Or in my case running a campaign. It’s easy to jump around and find great inspiration and motivation along with practical advice and how tos.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #57 Run for Something by Amanda Litman 1 3 Apr 04, 2018 06:55PM  

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Amanda Litman is the co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, a PAC that recruits and support young, diverse progressives running for down-ballot office. In the first two years, they recruited nearly 30,000 young people who want to run for office and have elected 200+ across 43 states.

Previously, she was the email director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, digital