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Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy

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An intruiging and accessible nonfiction graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy. Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Unrig exposes the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highli An intruiging and accessible nonfiction graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy. Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Unrig exposes the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highlights the heroic efforts of those unrigging the system to return power to We the People. This stirring nonfiction graphic novel by democracy reform leader Daniel G. Newman and artist George O’Connor takes readers behind the scenes—from the sweaty cubicles where senators dial corporate CEOs for dollars, to lavish retreats where billionaires boost their favored candidates, to the map rooms where lawmakers scheme to handpick their voters. Unrig also highlights surprising solutions that limit the influence of big money and redraw the lines of political power. If you're overwhelmed by negative news and despairing for the direction of our country, Unrig is a tonic that will restore your faith and reveal the path forward to fix our broken democracy.


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An intruiging and accessible nonfiction graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy. Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Unrig exposes the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highli An intruiging and accessible nonfiction graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy. Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Unrig exposes the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highlights the heroic efforts of those unrigging the system to return power to We the People. This stirring nonfiction graphic novel by democracy reform leader Daniel G. Newman and artist George O’Connor takes readers behind the scenes—from the sweaty cubicles where senators dial corporate CEOs for dollars, to lavish retreats where billionaires boost their favored candidates, to the map rooms where lawmakers scheme to handpick their voters. Unrig also highlights surprising solutions that limit the influence of big money and redraw the lines of political power. If you're overwhelmed by negative news and despairing for the direction of our country, Unrig is a tonic that will restore your faith and reveal the path forward to fix our broken democracy.

30 review for Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    One of those books you read to make yourself mad and sad as you try to convince yourself to finally get off your fat ass and act. The author is open about his biases and makes reasonable cases for his diagnoses and solutions. He might even be able to sway some folks who aren't too deeply embedded in Trumpism, though probably not. At times the Koch Brothers stuff, based on the book Dark Money, sounds as wild as the George Soros/Bill Gates conspiracy theories always being tossed around by conservat One of those books you read to make yourself mad and sad as you try to convince yourself to finally get off your fat ass and act. The author is open about his biases and makes reasonable cases for his diagnoses and solutions. He might even be able to sway some folks who aren't too deeply embedded in Trumpism, though probably not. At times the Koch Brothers stuff, based on the book Dark Money, sounds as wild as the George Soros/Bill Gates conspiracy theories always being tossed around by conservatives on social media and Fox News reader comments. I should probably read that book. This book works best when it offers concrete solutions to election reform, though it seemed contradictory to move away from "winner takes all" elections at the local and state level with ranked choice and proportional representation while pushing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact for presidential elections. Anyway, interesting ideas are offered in an introductory way, but will require additional research to fully get behind. Regardless, I'm behind voting Trump out of office in November and reforming the mess we've gotten into.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Having been raised in a mostly-white mostly-middle-class part of a purple state, I understood that the United States is a government for, by, and of the people. But for the last ten years or so that hasn't felt like it was particularly true anymore... and it wasn't just because of the presidential election or the current unrest. Nobody seemed to be able to tell me why, though, and the few that tried fell into traps of Democrat and Republican stereotype talking points and attacks on the other par Having been raised in a mostly-white mostly-middle-class part of a purple state, I understood that the United States is a government for, by, and of the people. But for the last ten years or so that hasn't felt like it was particularly true anymore... and it wasn't just because of the presidential election or the current unrest. Nobody seemed to be able to tell me why, though, and the few that tried fell into traps of Democrat and Republican stereotype talking points and attacks on the other party. Which didn't make sense, really, because I know Democrats and Republicans and while everyone has points they differ on, we're really not as far apart (on the whole) at the grass roots level as we believe. Heck, I was raised Republican, and the Republican party of today is definitely not espousing the same values as the one that existed when I was in high school. So what the heck's been happening? Why can't we get along? Who the hell are the Koch Brothers and why do I care? How is Betsy DeVos in charge of education and why does it look like she's purposely destroying public schools? Why are the elections swinging directions that we don't expect, or don't want? When Scott McCloud mentioned this book on Twitter I decided to give it a shot, and it's done a very good job of describing the forces that are pressuring both our elected officials and the elections themselves. Daniel Newman puts forth a case (with a sizable bibliography) that the ultra-rich in the US banded together and started playing a long game years ago with the intent to take control of the democracy out of the hands of common citizens like you and me. Dark money influences both elections and the elected. It changes how our electoral maps are drawn. It prevents fair elections. It increases the financial effects of corporate lobbyists to get what they want. It's a freaking mess. But this book isn't just an explainer for what's happened over the last 20-50 years. It's also an explanation for what we, the people, can actually do about it. It explains ranked choice voting, clean elections, the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, and many other political tools that we can use to make our democracy more or less fair, and then what we can do to wield those tools. And look, if you've fully bought into the narrative that the government should be small and helpless and distrusted, or that people shouldn't help each other or work together for better lives because it's a dog-eat-dog world, you're probably not going to be a big fan. This book assumes that neighbors help neighbors, we all want better lives, and we can work together to get them. It doesn't ascribe to any specific ideology although it does make it clear that most of the dark money from the ultra-rich is going into the Republican party with the specific intent to undermine democracy. This book is for disillusioned Republicans, frustrated Independents, confused Democrats, and everyone else who's looking for an explanation of our current political and democratic situation in clear terms, with a compelling and precise visual and textual story. It's for everyone that needs a graphic novel (graphic textbook?) refresher in that civics class you might not have had in five, ten, twenty, or thirty years. It's for people thinking of getting into politics now, people thinking of getting into politics later, and people who are just sick of attack ads on television and always having the worst choices at the election box. The book has an accompanying website for bringing people who want to unrig our democracy together. And it's time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    A comprehensive delineation of fundamental flaws in our system of government. Given the depressing, demoralizing nature and extent of the problems, I'm in awe of how optimistic and solution-oriented this book is. It's not a rant, it's a well-sourced repair manual. ---------------- Problem Money wins elections. Electoral success is directly linked to fundraising. Fundraising puts the candidate in the pocket of wealthy donors. That's why politicians work for billionaires and corporations rather than t A comprehensive delineation of fundamental flaws in our system of government. Given the depressing, demoralizing nature and extent of the problems, I'm in awe of how optimistic and solution-oriented this book is. It's not a rant, it's a well-sourced repair manual. ---------------- Problem Money wins elections. Electoral success is directly linked to fundraising. Fundraising puts the candidate in the pocket of wealthy donors. That's why politicians work for billionaires and corporations rather than the electorate. Wealthy communities are also more likely to run candidates, donate, and vote; politicians then lavish attention on them, ignoring poorer constituents. "Worthy individuals will in fact rise from poverty on a regular basis and that will make it easier to ignore those who are left behind." Tyler Cowen, libertarian economist and billionaire evangelist. Solution Clean Elections. Seattle, Berkeley, Arizona, and Connecticut each has a different form of publicly funded elections (democracy vouchers or small-donation matching) that allows candidates to run successfully without taking billionaire donations. Democracy vouchers are shown to increase low-income voting, which increases politician involvement with non-wealthy voters. (Gasp, spend taxes to pay for candidates' campaigns???, you say? For context: the US spends $43B/yr on video games; it would cost $2.5B to publicly fund elections. The $2 trillion spent on the Iraq War would fund US election campaigns for 800 years.) ---------------- Problem Lobbying. Congresspersons are required by both parties to spend 4+ hours per day begging for money fundraising. More if they're on a committee. Nonstop fundraisers are held in addition to that time, leaving little room for them to do their actual jobs. These financial responsibilities are met first and foremost by lobbyists. Additionally, the bulk of Congress's policy expertise is supplied by lobbyists. And about 50% of Congresspeople become highly paid lobbyists when they leave office. This incestuous relationship with lobbying forces Congresspersons to serve corporate profits rather than the good of their constituents. Solution 1) Ban the Congress/lobbyist revolving door. 2) Publicly fund elections so that Congresspeople aren't dependent on lobbies. 3) Increase staff pay and headcount so that policy skill stays in Congress. 4) Create a citizen's lobby organization: the Consumer Protection Agency. (This idea was proposed by President Carter.) 5) Reconstitute the nonpartisan Office of Technology Assessment, which was killed by Republicans in 1995. ---------------- Problem Dark money. It allows wealthy special interests to buy politicians without the public knowing. It removes accountability and prevents voters from being able to make informed choices. Solution Ban dark money, duh. ---------------- Problem Voter suppression. A brief history: poll taxes, literacy tests (the appalling jelly bean test), byzantine ID laws, time taxes (lines deliberately made to be hours long), reducing polling stations in black communities, opposing early and absentee voting (except for the military, which tends to vote red). "I don't want everybody to vote...Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the Moral Majority and numerous conservative think tanks. Solution Reinstate the preclearance components of the Voter Rights Act, which were killed by the Supreme Court conservative wing in 2013. They worked extremely well for almost 50 years, and their removal led to an immediate flood of voter suppression bills. ---------------- Problem Rampant gerrymandering. Solution 1) Citizen's, non-partisan, or bipartisan redistricting commissions, such as that created by Voters Not Politicians in Michigan. 2) Proportional Representation (prorep)--Instead of single-representative districts (with minorities represented by majority candidates), create large multi-representative districts. Every demographic winds up with representatives, and the reps work better together because they all represent the entire constituency. Most western democracies use this system, with excellent results. 3) Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). No more vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils, no more split votes capsizing the will of the people. RCV drastically reduces negative campaigning, because a) now the R's and D's have to run against numerous candidates which makes negative ads inefficient, and b) they're now hoping to pickup 2nd and 3rd choice votes, so can't afford to offend too many voters. RCV also saves tax money because it automatically eliminates primaries and runoff elections; all of that is covered by ranked choice. ----------------

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I don't know if I've ever read a non-fiction comic like this before, and I have to say: it was a really good way to keep me interested in the topic. There was one section in the middle especially that I don't think I would have kept reading if this book was written in traditional prose format. It was just too dark (appropriate, since it was largely about dark money in campaign finance) and depressing—but the comic format kept me reading where prose would not. It does get a bit heavy-handed in pla I don't know if I've ever read a non-fiction comic like this before, and I have to say: it was a really good way to keep me interested in the topic. There was one section in the middle especially that I don't think I would have kept reading if this book was written in traditional prose format. It was just too dark (appropriate, since it was largely about dark money in campaign finance) and depressing—but the comic format kept me reading where prose would not. It does get a bit heavy-handed in places, and I haven't yet done any additional research to determine if I feel this was appropriate to the reality, or extreme. If it's all true and unembellished, then the state of our government is even more depressing than I had realized. Luckily, there is a section at the end that focus on what we can do next. I think ending this book without some action items and steps to fix it would have left me feeling sad and upset, but ending with a chapter that summarizes the next steps touched on in previous chapters—and expanding them, as well as adding new things—ends the book on a positive note with at least a touch of hope. I also really appreciate the list of sources cited, and the index. I wasn't expecting that, given the comic format, but it's going to be really helpful when I revisit some of the ideas and action items listed here.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hugh

    Nice, easy to read format. Inspiring and practical suggestions at the local, state and federal level (although the federal level would need some much more serious work and money). A little depressing when it gets into the forces trying to destroy our democracy and the success they are having.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A very hopeful graphic book about restoring democracy to the USA and how to do it. It also discusses problems in its history, why the government developed the way it it did and what’s happening now. An important chapter is about the Koch family and other billionaires who have been working to take over the government to serve themselves and ignore the citizens and people who live here. They don’t plan on paying taxes, taking care of the environment or allowing people healthcare, Social Security, A very hopeful graphic book about restoring democracy to the USA and how to do it. It also discusses problems in its history, why the government developed the way it it did and what’s happening now. An important chapter is about the Koch family and other billionaires who have been working to take over the government to serve themselves and ignore the citizens and people who live here. They don’t plan on paying taxes, taking care of the environment or allowing people healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, fair wages or job safety and security. We need to work at this government and take it back for the benefit for all people and fairness.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Clearly explains ranked-choice voting in exactly four frames. (PS vote YES on MA Question #2 on Nov 3!) So much information, tempered by positivity and success stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    An educational and excellent, but depressing, overview of our broken democracy. I’ve been saying our government is broken for a long time. This book illustrates why clearly and concisely: wealth hoarders. Sad to realize that the wealthy could care less about anyone but themselves and buy elections and politicians to guarantee their way of life. I will be researching the web site to see how I can get involved in fixing our democracy. I can hear shouts from naysayers of “fake news” as I close the An educational and excellent, but depressing, overview of our broken democracy. I’ve been saying our government is broken for a long time. This book illustrates why clearly and concisely: wealth hoarders. Sad to realize that the wealthy could care less about anyone but themselves and buy elections and politicians to guarantee their way of life. I will be researching the web site to see how I can get involved in fixing our democracy. I can hear shouts from naysayers of “fake news” as I close the last page. Hopefully thousands of smart and caring people will read this book and step up, too.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian Clopper

    Excellent! I feel so better informed and engaged. Every citizen should read this!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    This nonfiction graphic novel belongs in all classrooms!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    I was excited when First Second announced its line of World Citizen Comics. I really enjoyed the publisher's nonfiction titles from Box Brown, like Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America and Tetris: The Games People Play. And the series sounded like a good way to educate myself about the United States government and how it has been shaped. Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, in particular, promised to examine what has gone wrong with some of the fundamental democratic aspects of the I was excited when First Second announced its line of World Citizen Comics. I really enjoyed the publisher's nonfiction titles from Box Brown, like Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America and Tetris: The Games People Play. And the series sounded like a good way to educate myself about the United States government and how it has been shaped. Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, in particular, promised to examine what has gone wrong with some of the fundamental democratic aspects of the government (national, state, and local). It has a wealth of information, especially for the uninitiated like myself. There were some topics I had some familiarity with, such as ranked choice voting, but even those were presented with more ramifications than I was experienced with. Dan G. Newman covers a lot of ground, from political finances to voter rights to redistricting. It's a fantastic primer that goes deep enough without making you dizzy or doze off. There is a definite slant in much of the writing. One of the major premises of the first several chapters is that "wealth hoarders" and corporations are the only ones with enough money to influence the government and thus government only cares about helping those rich people. That morphs into the nature of those in power ensuring the system keeps them in power. And often Republicans are cast as the villains. But they are only cast in that light based on the party's record relative to the wealthy agenda topics, from dark money to gerrymandering. When possible, the book cites some failing of Democrats as well, but not nearly as many. One chapter specifically rails against the Libertarian party, so of course my libertarian friends didn't agree with most of what was said in that particular chapter. The illustrations are clear and accentuate the writer's points. There's a mixture of realistic art with cartoon images. The realism is reserved for actual people or places, while the cartoons are used to illustrate concepts. There is some slant in these images, too, with the rich people being archetypal evil, Republicans being smug elephants, and Democrats being earnest donkeys. Overall, the illustrations are here to break up the endless talking heads, and they do an admirable job. Some people will read this book and be inspired. Others will be outraged and argue against it. That's unfortunately the nature of politics. Unrig doesn't take a side with any one party. It wants to ensure the government works for all the people, not just the rich that can afford to finance politicians.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Goldman

    Unrig is an exceptionally well done book of political advocacy. A fierce attack on the entrenched political system that protects power against the people. Every chapter starts off with problem but ends with examples of ordinary people have broken that power along with presenting others ideas. Newman does not undersell the problems - but the author truly believes in democracy and that individuals can take action. Indeed, participation for the author is more than a means to end but end in itself - Unrig is an exceptionally well done book of political advocacy. A fierce attack on the entrenched political system that protects power against the people. Every chapter starts off with problem but ends with examples of ordinary people have broken that power along with presenting others ideas. Newman does not undersell the problems - but the author truly believes in democracy and that individuals can take action. Indeed, participation for the author is more than a means to end but end in itself - a way to live a more meaningful life. The illustrations by George O’Connor , bold and bright, perfectly complement the content. The graphic are a marvel that add emotional depth to a book that would read as little thin without them. This book works as a great primer on our democracy, a call to action, and a mini-civics lesson in one. The book isn't perfect. The arguments can oversimplify problems, and the solutions ignore any downsides. Some of the simplification is excusable given the form and the purpose. But both the arguments and the solutions are reductionist at-times. And his faith in democracy ignores the populism that comes often with unfettered democracy. This blind-spot comes out when he talks about the constitution and Shay’s rebelling, for example. Yet, anyone who wants a better understanding of the magnitude of the problems facing our democracy, who want to be inspired and be provided with ways to get involved, this is a great book and a great comic. Here are some of the arguments and solutions Running for congress Ordinary Americans without backers can’t afford to run. This also means that politicization need to spend more time listening to rich voters and corporations. But clean elections can help minimize the money advantage and get more people involved (e.g. democracy vouchers) He details the people powered struggle to pass vouchers in Seattle but it was successful. Requiring transparency in money; increase staff, and develop a public advocacy agency to help draft legislation. Wealth horders: How a very small percentage of very wealth people use dark money to keep their advantage. Instead of running directory or advocating their idea, they invest in think tanks to influence the influencers. Their agenda includes tormenting distrust in and making sure that right to vote is limited. The ways to fight back are to call out those institutions are teachers who take the money. Voter suppression After reviewing the long history of voter suppression, particularly since the Civil a=war, Newman focuses on current practices such as voter ID (e.g. college id not accepted but gun permit is), limits on early voting, gutting the voter right act. Solutions include moving election, standardizing early voting, automatic voter registration, civics classes, and felony voting. The history of voting districts and the power of an impartial system to draw them up. The book’s webpage show’s lots of ways to be involved. https://www.unrigbook.com/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Unrig is a nonfiction graphic novel that provides a step-by-step plan for people to get involved in our system of laws, voting, and governmental action. Told with engaging pictures and the immediacy of the 2nd person voice, this book would be a perfect for a young or old activist trying to find their way into progressive politics or as a supplemental textbook for a high school government class. I have actually already told my Social Studies colleagues about it! With chapters entitled Unrigging th Unrig is a nonfiction graphic novel that provides a step-by-step plan for people to get involved in our system of laws, voting, and governmental action. Told with engaging pictures and the immediacy of the 2nd person voice, this book would be a perfect for a young or old activist trying to find their way into progressive politics or as a supplemental textbook for a high school government class. I have actually already told my Social Studies colleagues about it! With chapters entitled Unrigging the Rules, The Wealth Hoarders, and Drawing the Districts, Newman jumps right into the heart of political gridlock and Washington influencers. Using a number of credible sources including interviews with individuals and excerpts from well-known books, the author provides a wealth of support for his positions. From campaign trail to the supreme court, it is evident after reading this book that money moves things in politics and the author provides several solutions to getting the most people involved in decision making as possible regardless of individual wealth. I went on Newman’s website to find out a little more about him and found this link that will take you to an excerpt from the book. It’s really good to have a preview of the both the art style and the organization of the book. Go ahead and check it out! I did find the pages a bit packed at times… as if he was worried about getting it all in. But at the same time, it is just this information that a person will need if they want to enact any lasting change. The wave of change that is sweeping our nation will only be able to be sustained if activists look to long-term solutions like the ones found in this book. Kuddos to Misters Newman and O’Connor! For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2020/07/08/un... For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Schlitzer

    Do not underestimate the seriousness of this book because of the cartoon format. It conveys a very powerful message. It should come as no surprise that most Americans feel that they have not been properly represented by those who have been sent to Washington to represent us. This is a fairly common sentiment regardless of political affiliation. Something we can all agree on. But why? That’s what this book attempts to explain. From day one, our representatives are rendered impotent by a horribly f Do not underestimate the seriousness of this book because of the cartoon format. It conveys a very powerful message. It should come as no surprise that most Americans feel that they have not been properly represented by those who have been sent to Washington to represent us. This is a fairly common sentiment regardless of political affiliation. Something we can all agree on. But why? That’s what this book attempts to explain. From day one, our representatives are rendered impotent by a horribly flawed system. The author diagnosis and clearly identifies the problematic areas. Suggestions for change( some of which have already been implemented in certain states), are proposed. Their are systematic problems that afflict both state and federal government.These problems are becoming worse over time.The solutions are not complex, and are certainly very doable. One of the solutions which is commonly touted is term limits. This solution however is not even mentioned in this book. Why??? Well, it appears that because of flawed government systems, a government official is rendered ineffective even before they step into office for their freshman term. Yes things start to go off the rails during the campaign, and it only gets worse from there. Limiting length of term would not have any impact.Public awareness is key. I wish all voters would read this book. All us voters get short changed by our government, even by those representatives who are competent, capable ,and well intentioned. The good news is, is that we can actually do something about it! The book is a very quick read. The author makes short concise points, which are backed up with facts. If you are disgruntled because it seems like things in this country just never seem to get any better( or things just seem to keep getting worse), perhaps you would enjoy this book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Aylott

    An accessible and likely necessary graphic nonfiction book about everything that's wrong with American democracy and what citizens can(?) do about it. The book has a broad target audience and a lot of its information will likely be new to its readers, but even as a long-time follower of politics I learned some new and horrible things. Bottom line: the federal government is almost certainly even more corrupt than you think it is. It's great to see initiatives like Seattle's democracy vouchers get An accessible and likely necessary graphic nonfiction book about everything that's wrong with American democracy and what citizens can(?) do about it. The book has a broad target audience and a lot of its information will likely be new to its readers, but even as a long-time follower of politics I learned some new and horrible things. Bottom line: the federal government is almost certainly even more corrupt than you think it is. It's great to see initiatives like Seattle's democracy vouchers getting attention, but I can't share Newman's optimism about the long-run chances of citizen activism working up from the local to the federal level. The wealth hoarders have plenty of money, power, and guns at their command, and the growing number of bodies in the street make it clear that they are more than willing to use them.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Miller

    5 stars for effort; 2 stars for the writing. This nonfiction handbook, told in comic book style, attempts to explain and address how and why our democratic institutions have become so broken, static, unfair, and unreliable. More importantly, it offers anecdotes about how actual people--just like you and me--found ways to "fix" some elements of the system to make them more accountable to ordinary citizens, rather than to corporations, lobbyists, and big money. This is a much-needed resource; I jus 5 stars for effort; 2 stars for the writing. This nonfiction handbook, told in comic book style, attempts to explain and address how and why our democratic institutions have become so broken, static, unfair, and unreliable. More importantly, it offers anecdotes about how actual people--just like you and me--found ways to "fix" some elements of the system to make them more accountable to ordinary citizens, rather than to corporations, lobbyists, and big money. This is a much-needed resource; I just wish it had been edited more carefully (too many repeats!). Still, it might be a useful resource for middle- and upper-school students, or for anyone who can't imagine what they might be able to do to hasten some corrections to the baked-in wrongs that have skewed our political institutions.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Unrig is timely, important, and empowering. For me, it exposed issues related to the balance of powers in our government and the influence of the extremely wealthy that have already influenced the way I'll think about politics and participation in our democracy moving forward. I wish everyone in our country would read this before this election is through, but I think it will promote involvement and change long after this year's votes are counted. I think Unrig would make for great reading and di Unrig is timely, important, and empowering. For me, it exposed issues related to the balance of powers in our government and the influence of the extremely wealthy that have already influenced the way I'll think about politics and participation in our democracy moving forward. I wish everyone in our country would read this before this election is through, but I think it will promote involvement and change long after this year's votes are counted. I think Unrig would make for great reading and discussion in high school and college government/civics courses. Many of us are very busy these days, and the book is also quick to read, with great graphics that assist the reader in understanding the issues at hand while keeping the text minimal.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    This call to become active in politics is cleverly portrayed in a graphic novel format. In sections ranging from Unrigging the Rules to The Wealth Hoarders to Drawing the Districts, the author explains how winners and losers are determined in today's political environment and suggests way to start making the political process work for the average voter. This mix of history, legal decisions, and how the government actually works makes an engaging and easily digested civics lesson. Newman's final This call to become active in politics is cleverly portrayed in a graphic novel format. In sections ranging from Unrigging the Rules to The Wealth Hoarders to Drawing the Districts, the author explains how winners and losers are determined in today's political environment and suggests way to start making the political process work for the average voter. This mix of history, legal decisions, and how the government actually works makes an engaging and easily digested civics lesson. Newman's final exhortation to join a group is based on the premise and success that a small number of dedicated and hardworking citizens can make to a political process.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Courtney

    Reading the book Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy by Daniel G. Newman was simultaneously educational, discouraging and frightening, especially in today’s highly toxic political environment. I was especially impressed with the depth of research by the author. I appreciated the graphic novel format in which he and the illustrator succinctly presented the challenges to our democracy and, most importantly, the ways to “fix our broken democracy”. The illustrations by George O’Connor were captiv Reading the book Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy by Daniel G. Newman was simultaneously educational, discouraging and frightening, especially in today’s highly toxic political environment. I was especially impressed with the depth of research by the author. I appreciated the graphic novel format in which he and the illustrator succinctly presented the challenges to our democracy and, most importantly, the ways to “fix our broken democracy”. The illustrations by George O’Connor were captivating and humorous as well as meaningful and thought-provoking. This should be required reading for all citizens and for those who want to become citizens.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Pinlac

    Clear and concise general overview on the current state of our democracy. It's a very short read, but accompanied by great illustrations. The clarity of the arguments is useful. It's easy to get lost in the details and conspiracy when talking about things like dark money in politics. It also serves as a great entry point into a lot of the topics discussed such as fair elections, lobbying, and democratic participation. Most importantly, it presents some worthwhile issues to focus on and concrete Clear and concise general overview on the current state of our democracy. It's a very short read, but accompanied by great illustrations. The clarity of the arguments is useful. It's easy to get lost in the details and conspiracy when talking about things like dark money in politics. It also serves as a great entry point into a lot of the topics discussed such as fair elections, lobbying, and democratic participation. Most importantly, it presents some worthwhile issues to focus on and concrete paths to help enact change. While the book is expensive, all author proceeds go to the non-profit Maplight.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Armstrong

    Doesn't get more relevant than a graphic novel about how deeply broken and corrupt our institutions are. Or how important it is that we as citizens demand better. Now.

  22. 4 out of 5

    L.T. Kodzo

    Great book to explain the assumptions I’ve had about politics in the last few years

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dhartridge

    Graphic novel style book has a hopeful perspective about citizens' power to effect change. Concrete examples, lively presentation.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David James

    Fantastic Read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Evans

    Interesting but not engaging.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matt Petrik

    The topic is always relevant but you can see why this was released now given the focus on the November election. Plenty of new (t0 me) concepts that the author explains in a way that is simple to understand but also allows for deeper review (including via the unrig website). I love the idea where local voters can determine which candidate gets a $$$ donation from the city...this gets the voting public more engaged and as the author notes there has been an increase in women and minority candidate The topic is always relevant but you can see why this was released now given the focus on the November election. Plenty of new (t0 me) concepts that the author explains in a way that is simple to understand but also allows for deeper review (including via the unrig website). I love the idea where local voters can determine which candidate gets a $$$ donation from the city...this gets the voting public more engaged and as the author notes there has been an increase in women and minority candidates (this is also because of stacked ranking votes). A reviewer noted this should be taught in school and I personally would love this to be given more prominence as a social justice topic. I can tell you that my 12 year old is reading it now, she was talking with me about the wealth hoarders yesterday afternoon!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    To be reviewed for Good Comics for Kids blog

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

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