The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a terrific read. You’ll get through it in a day or two – because once you get into it, you want to read all of it. The book is not a day-by-day deconstruction of the Dean campaign. If you’re looking for that, you’ll have to wait for someone else to write it. (And I’m certain those books will come.) Instead, it’s a singularly compelling story that takes you from Trippi’s first forays into grassroots organizing, up to the present day, where he has a unique view of the intersection of technology and politics.
I found the back story of his involvement in the Kennedy and Mondale campaigns most interesting, for it lays the groundwork for what’s to come. And it gives you an intriguing view into the very small network of people who’ve been at this for decades.
It’s still sad for me to think about what we had last year and lost — but Trippi presents the entire story as a case study for where things are headed. Ultimately, we helped rewrite the rules for what insurgents are capable of doing. And there’s no doubt in my mind that what we did will serve as a blueprint moving forward.
Though the book is obviously focused predominantly on politics, it’s by no means just a political book. Joe’s inspiration for the Dean model arose out of a community that started on a stock message board, and Joe ties the threads together in the final section of the book by talking about how corporate America will have to learn the same lessons — of transparency, of empowerment, of decentralization — if they want to excel in the years to come.
For anyone who thinks that the technology we’re playing with today will make a differece tomorrow, you must read this book. Joe was intrigued to hear that there are Republicans who worship at the Trippi altar — and that’s just proof that this isn’t a partisan thing. Any candidates who follow this model are destined to effect great change. Ultimately, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised offers all of us a glimpse of where we’re headed — and makes those of us who were involved in the Dean campaign that much more proud of what we did.
Joe could have phoned this in and traded on the currency of the topic for some quick sales. Lucky for us, he didn’t. I think the book — and its message — will persist. It’s the rare combination of timeliness and vision that will help evangelize to the unconverted and encourage the disciples.