America, We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation

America, We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation

by Joel Berg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609807290
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 02/21/2017
Pages: 688
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Labeled “Mister Frowny Pants” by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (on which he once appeared), JOEL BERG is the CEO of Hunger Free America, which the Nation called “one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.” 
Berg wrote the decade’s definitive book on US hunger, All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008). Playboy (which Berg reads only for the reviews) called the book “refreshing” for its “optimism . . . rationality and passion.” Berg has also published numerous op-eds, poems, and policy papers and was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Policy Analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute, two DC-based think tanks.
Berg has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches on four continents and in thirty-seven states, from Maine to Alaska, while surviving moose attacks and volcanic eruptions. One audience member wrote, “Seeing Joel Berg speak in person is like watching the History Channel, C-Span, and Comedy Central all at once.” 
Noted by City Limits magazine for his “trademark good-natured snarkiness,” Berg has been covered extensively by national and international media, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, CNN, National Public Radio, The Kudlow Report, All In with Chris Hayes, and the NBC Evening News, and quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and tons of obscure blogs. Berg has also been featured in three documentary films.
Prior to joining Hunger Free America, Berg worked for eight years in senior executive service positions in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, served on the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team, and staffed the 1992 Bill Clinton for President campaign. While working for 13 years as a political campaign professional, Berg lived in Kansas, Alaska, New Jersey, Maine, Arkansas, and New York. 
He now resides in Brooklyn, New York but has yet to overdose on local, artisanal kale chips.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Talk" 1

Part I "The Intervention" The Top Reasons American Politics and Society Are Out-of-Whack 23

1 No We Can't: Getting to No While Giving In 25

2 Money Can't Buy Happiness (Just Food, Clothing, Gas, Medicine, and Housing) 69

3 Eat, Pray, Love … and Then Get Fired for Spending So Much Time Away from Work 103

4 Chicken Soup for the Soul Brothers and Soul Sisters: Why Kind, Personal Gestures Aren't Enough to Overcome Structural Racism 121

5 They're Just Not That Into You: Why Working-Class Whites Are Rejecting Democrats 175

6 Your Best Life Is Actually Someone Else's: The Politics of Resentment 201

7 The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing Mr. Right Wing 247

8 Friends Without Benefits, or Why Buy the Voter When You Can Get the Milk for Free? 267

9 How to Lose Friends and De-Influence People: How the Left Turns Off the Public and Turns On Itself 289

10 Republicans Are from Mars, Democrats Are from Venus 313

11 Three Cups of Crime Spree: Why the Nonprofit Sector Is Too Crooked, Self-Aggrandizing, and Ineffective to Save America 345

12 The Seven Habits of a Highly Unsuccessful Nation: Why the US Is Lagging 369

13 The Granivore's Dilemma: Can the Foodies Survive on Foraged Seeds Alone? 399

14 America's Virgin/Whore Complex: Our Obsession with Sex and Shaming 421

15 A Non-Purpose Driven Life: How Our Reality TV Culture is Stripping America of Soul, Sense, and Meaning 437

16 Deal Breakers: When to Work on a National Relationship and When to Walk Away 453

Part II "The Counseling Session" A Twelve-Step Program for Fixing Our Relationship with America: Concrete Ways to Find Common Ground and Take Personal Responsibility to Solve Our National Problems 459

Step 1 "Hi, I'm American … and I'm an Alcoholic / Spend-aholic / Gun-aholic / War-aholic / Selfie-aholic" 461

Step 2 Breaking Good: How the Nation Can Create a "Responsibility-for-All" Society 465

Step 3 We the Voters-How We Can All Own American Politics Again 483

Step 4 Mr. Smith, Ms. Sanchez, Miss Patel, Ms. Jones, and Mr. Wang Go to Washington: How All of Us Need to Make Political Activity a Noble Calling Again 493

Step 5 If Corporations Are People, Make Them Good People: Holding Businesses Accountable 501

Step 6 We Are the World: Why We Need to Bolster the Planet to Fix America 507

Step 7 From the Middle Out: Rebuilding the Working Class 517

Step 8 How to Overcome Depression with Feathers (Or, A Trope about Hope and How It Will Defeat Poverty) 527

Step 9 Beyond Foodies: Ensuring a Cornucopia for All of Us 555

Step 10 Outfoxing Fox: How to Make News, Social Media, and All Society Accountable 565

Step 11 We Still Can Overcome: Movement-Building for the Twenty-First Century 571

Step 12 The Activist Patriot-It's Up to You 585

Part III "Finding Closure" 593

Appendix: Organizations that Eight Back … and Make a Difference! 599

Acknowledgments 603

Notes 607

Index 651

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