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Changing the Powers That Be

How the Left Can Stop Losing and Win

G. William Domhoff

More equality, more fairness, more opportunity—these are themes on which progressives, now more than ever, could win elections and build social movements. Yet American progressives too seldom have put themselves in a position to capture the loyalty of American voters. In his newest book, Domhoff explains why the left's political strategies have failed, and he calls for new strategies and alliances that will lead to political success and a better America.

Sure to be widely read and debated, the book reveals how campaigns by Nader and other third-party progressives have been misguided. Domhoff explains how and why third-party candidacies fail because of the structure of the political system, and then presents a new way for progressives to enter the political arena without compromising their basic values or their emphasis on participation in social movements. He shows how "planning through the market" holds more potential for freedom and fairness than centrally planned economies. He also shows how progressives can redefine who is "us" and who is "them" in a way that is more inclusive, allowing people across the class spectrum to support a renewed egalitarian vision.

Accessible to anyone interested in American politics and policies, this book offers the political application of Domhoff's renowned theories of American power. For those who want to spark a dialogue in discussion groups, it is a lively companion reading to his Who Rules America as well as other books on power, inequality or government in America.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 152Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/4
978-0-7425-2491-0 • Hardback • February 2003 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
G. William Domhoff, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the author of Who Rules America? (4th ed., 2002) and The Power Elite and the State (1990), and coauthor of Blacks in the White Elite: Will the Progress Continue? (2003).
Chapter 1 1 The What-If Nader Campaign of 2000
Chapter 2 2 Why Egalitarians Should Transform the Democratic Party
Chapter 3 3 More Equality Through the Market System
Chapter 4 4 Social Movements and Strategic Nonviolence
Chapter 5 5 Redefining Who's Us and Who's Them
Chapter 6 6 Keeping Leaders Accountable
Chapter 7 7 A New Foreign Policy and a New Stance on Religion
Chapter 8 8 Stop Blaming the Media
Chapter 9 9 Making the Future Yours
In this spirited book, Domhoff confronts conventional political wisdom and makes us think about ways to put progress back in 'Progressive.' Dig in. . . then get to organizing!
Jim Hightower, author, columnist, and populist organizer

Characteristically Domhoff: straight to the point, intellectually incisive, and deliberately helpful. We needed this book.
Harvey Molotch, New York University and University of California, Santa Barbara

Domhoff explains the left's failures and calls for a renewed egalitarian vision across the classes.
Publishers Weekly

For several decades, professors and students alike have learned a great deal about the realities of power in the United States from Bill Domhoff's books, including several editions of his classic, Who Rules America? But students who want to improve the world as well as understand it will be grateful for Domhoff's latest contribution, Changing the Powers That Be. The power structure, he argues, is neither monolithic nor invincible. . . . This is a book guaranteed to give even cynical students hope about our country's future and idealistic students a roadmap for putting their ideals into practice. Professors who teach courses about American politics, social movements, elections, political parties, the media, and similar topics will find that Changing the Powers That Be gets students thinking, talking, and even do-ing.
Peter Dreier, Occidental College

A fascinating book for those who believe the political system needs serious change. Recommended.