Inciting Democracy Cover

Inciting Democracy

A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society

How we can develop and sustain
a powerful, grassroots social change movement

by Randy Schutt

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Dear friends,
I found this book interesting and I thought you might too:

In this age of terrorism, hatred, and war, is it possible to create a humane and just society? What obstacles impede social movements that are working for positive change? How can progressive activists overcome these obstacles and create a good society?

These are the questions addressed in Inciting Democracy: A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society by Randy Schutt.

Drawing on the scholarly literature as well as the author's long experience as an activist, Inciting Democracy offers a vision of what a good society might look like and explores how we can overcome five key obstacles to creating such a society. It offers a practical way to develop a large, decentralized education and support program (the Vernal Education Project) that would bolster grassroots movements so that people of goodwill can democratically and nonviolently transform society.

Note that the entire book can be read for free on the Vernal Project web site

Inciting Democracy home
Table of Contents
Chapter Summary
Excerpt from Preface
Author Biography
Download Chapters

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Published by    SpringForward Press
September 2001. 320 pages, paperback, 8 1/2" x 11"

"Randy Schutt's Inciting Democracy is an exciting, page-turning book describing a new attainable Eden. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop -- I had to know how it was going to work. I wish I were 40 years younger so I could see it all happen." -- Doris (GrannyD) Haddock
"Randy Schutt has written the book that we in the progressive social change movement have been waiting for. Inciting Democracy offers an inspiring vision and concrete action plan for pursuing effective progressive social change. It also provides a constructive critique of where we have been and an easily accessible analytical framework for understanding what we face. The book is destined to become a core and comprehensive guide for those seeking a better society, and it will make an excellent main textbook for any course on citizen advocacy. Thank you, Randy, for leading us to the next level of effectiveness and organizing." -- Abigail Abrash, Program Director, New Hampshire Citizens Alliance; Instructor, Antioch New England Graduate School
"Randy Schutt's Inciting Democracy: A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society addresses the urgent civic question of how to best go about developing and sustaining a powerful and effective grassroots based social change movement. Schutt offers a compelling vision of what a "good society" might look like and how ordinary citizens can overcome five key obstacles to creating such a social order. Very highly recommended and informative reading for social activists and political reformers, the engaging and provocative text is enhanced with 71 figures, 44 sidebars, 270 quotations, 166 detailed endnotes, 233 annotated references, a bibliography of 110 cited works, and a comprehensive index." -- Midwest Book Review, published in the August issues of Wisconsin Bookwatch, (p. 8, col. 2) and Internet Bookwatch
"Here's a tackle box, a tool belt, a veritable Leatherman for doing the big job that needs doing: redeeming our society. Sure it's an optimistic vision -- but that may be just what we need." -- Bill McKibben, author of The Age of Missing Information, The End of Nature, and Hope, Human and Wild.
"Randy Schutt has given shape and form to a collective vision of a new America. Inciting Democracy draws from the core values of the Sixties to present a new and better balanced approach to changing our world and improving the lives of ourselves and others. Schutt backs up his call for new initiatives and new leadership with a detailed and well thought out strategy based on his own wide experience with the real dynamics of personal and social change. Randy is a good listener and a perceptive observer who has distilled his years of involvement into a book that satisfies on many levels. Inciting Democracy describes the 21st century approach to really creating a good society and an empowered citizenry." -- Bob Cooney, co-editor of The Power of the People: Active Nonviolence in the United States
"I just finished reading your book and want to let you know what a wonderful job I think you have done! So much useful material included and an extremely thorough job. Thank you for all your good work." -- Penn Garvin, social change activist and teacher
One more thing that may interest you: Randy has compiled over 30 papers on strategy for change, nonviolent direct action, and cooperative decision-making. You can download these papers for free from here:

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