For anyone who has ever dreamed of working on a presidential campaign, Joe Trippi offers up plenty of insider insight into the most challenging world of promoting a candidate in The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, The Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything. But what makes this book even more powerful and unique is that it is really about a revolution that occurred in the political process, thanks to a man named Howard Dean, and a campaign that literally changed the face of democracy.
This fascinating book (I read it in one sitting!) offers a blow by blow account of how Dean came to power, the choices and decisions behind his meteoric rise to national popularity, and the processes by which he and his campaign staff utilized the awesome power of the Internet to mobilize a massive amount of money and dedicated workers determined to make Dean the man to beat in 2004.
With inside anecdotes, personal insight, photos, facts and news reports, Trippi offers up a sort of autobiographic tale of his own involvement in the Dean campaign, as well as his initial forays into politics, and this personal touch gives us a real feel for the triumph and despair that often accompany working in the political arena. Trippi, who also came to national prominence during the Dean campaign, is such a key player in the rise, and fall, of Howard Dean, and this time he tells us the truth behind the media myths Ė such as the infamous Howard Scream that the media clung on to for weeks after Deanís Iowa concession speech. The media only showed Dean screaming out state names in a hoarse voice, but what Trippi said we the people did not get to see were the thousands of cheering and crying supporters urging Dean to the heights of emotional release.
Such inside stories really bring us into the fray, where candidates battle it out with each other, with the media, and with their own staff members as they travel the country in search of support, especially monetary. Deanís ability to touch the hearts of common people, and the stunningly creative ideas his staff used to raise incredible and often record-breaking amounts of money are amazing, and having read this book, I now truly understand the revolutionary aspects of both Deanís idealism and his ground-breaking campaign, which used the Internet as the main tool for reaching the public.
Dean was forced out of the race, and this book proves what a shame that is, because this really was a man for the people, not a man of money and special interests. Trippi, who ultimately left the Dean campaign, shows the many factors that led to the falling apart of the Dean Machine (including his own part in it), but also shows us how Dean has and will continue to be a powerful force for change in America. His presence has transformed the face of politics and of the democratic process itself, giving the power back where it belongs Ė to the people.
Now, having read this book, I am not so sure I could handle the heartbreak, the hard work and the literal shedding of blood, sweat and tears involved in getting behind a person you believe in and helping them get into office. But I sure could handle the glorious triumphs, such as Trippi describes when he tells us stories of simple people such as laborers, housewives and even young kids all over the country who came together and worked tirelessly for a man they believed in and a country they loved. Their dedication and passion for democracy is the revolution itself.