You're More Powerful than You Think: A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen

You're More Powerful than You Think: A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen

by Eric Liu


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Is this the America you want? If not, here's how to claim the power to change your country.

We are in an age of epic political turbulence in America. Old hierarchies and institutions are collapsing. From the election of Donald Trump to the upending of the major political parties to the spread of grassroots movements like Black Lives Matter and $15 Now, people across the country and across the political spectrum are reclaiming power.

Are you ready for this age of bottom-up citizen power? Do you understand what power truly is, how it flows, who has it, and how you can claim and exercise it?

Eric Liu, who has spent a career practicing and teaching civic power, lays out the answers in this incisive, inspiring, and provocative book. Using examples from the left and the right, past and present, he reveals the core laws of power. He shows that all of us can generate power-and then, step by step, he shows us how. The strategies of reform and revolution he lays out will help every reader make sense of our world today. If you want to be more than a spectator in this new era, you need to read this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610397070
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Eric Liu is the founder and CEO of Citizen University ( and executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. He is the author of several books, including A Chinaman's Chance, The Gardens of Democracy, and The Accidental Asian. Eric served as a White House speechwriter and policy adviser for President Bill Clinton. He is a regular columnist for and a correspondent for

Table of Contents

Prologue: Immokalee and Pottersville xi

Part I The Age of Citizen Power

Our Moment, Our Power, Our Plan 3

Part II How to Understand Power

Power Is a Gift 17

The Three Laws of Power 25

Legitimacy and the Power Structure 45

Part III How to Practice Power

Game, Story, Equation 67

Change the Game 77

Strategy 1 Adjust the Arena 77

Strategy 2 Re-Rig the Rules 90

Strategy 3 Attack Your Opponent's Plan 102

Change the Story 119

Strategy 4 Describe the Alternative 119

Strategy 5 Organize in Narratives 129

Strategy 6 Make Your Fight a Fable 139

Change the Equation 153

Strategy 7 Act Exponentially 153

Strategy 8 Act Reciprocally 163

Strategy 9 Perform Power 173

Part IV The Why of Power

The Three I's: Integrity, Inclusion, Interest 187

Epilogue: They/We 203

Acknowledgments 205

Further Reading 209

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