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Dirt Road Revival by Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward
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Dirt Road Revival

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Dirt Road Revival by Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward
Hardcover $24.95
May 10, 2022 | ISBN 9780807007518

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Praise

Dirt Road Revival reads as part campaign thriller, part self-help candidate manual, and succeeds on both scores . . . a genuine page-turner.”
The Portland Phoenix

“They have demonstrated a commitment to spending time and resources to not only win over rural voters, but to materially improve their lives. It’s time for other Democrats to take note. Rural America is winnable, but to get there, progressives will need to throw out the old roadmap and follow Maxmin and Woodward down this dirt road.”
—Skylar Baker-Jordan, The Daily Yonder

“A memoir and manual of progressive politicking, it is also “a tough-love letter to the Democratic Party,” which has emphatically lost its way around such precincts.”
Harvard Magazine

“As someone who’s spent almost his whole life in rural America, both red and blue counties, I’m not sure I’ve read a more loving and realistic account of dirt road country. And as someone with a keen interest in American politics, I’m certain I’ve never read a more gripping (and practical) account of how to win elections than Dirt Road Revival. Not many political books make you both weep a little and then stand up and cheer—but this will!”
—Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened

“In a story told with urgency and passion, Maxmin and Woodward offer a practical playbook for anyone who wants to get into politics to achieve a better future for those who have been left behind. They show us that rural communities are moral communities that respond more to personal stories and values over policies. Building trusting relationships is the key and this takes time and effort and demands humility and a willingness to learn, but the future of American politics depends on it. The Democratic Party—indeed, all America—must take heed, and Dirt Road Revival offers us a path forward. This is a wonderful, powerful book—and one of the most hopeful I’ve read about a possible future for American politics.”
—Robert B. Reich, former US secretary of labor and author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few

Dirt Road Revival offers a unique and compelling blend of rigorous research, political expertise, and personal storytelling. Maxmin and Woodward open up about their own experiences and adventures, showing their passion for rural America and the people who sustain it, generation after generation. Dirt Road Revival builds bridges across fractious political divides, combining clear-eyed, practical reasoning with honest assessment and empathetic observation. This book will inspire readers to believe in the possibility of rural revival and motivate them to act now.”
—Jennifer M. Silva, author of We’re Still Here: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America

“If bridge builders like Chloe and Canyon could be cloned, rural America would experience a political renaissance. Their empathetic, homespun ‘politics as unusual’ depicted in Dirt Road Revival is exactly what our country needs.”
—Erica Etelson, cofounder of the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative and author of Beyond Contempt: How Liberals Can Communicate Across the Great Divide

“This is a beyond-timely tough-love letter to the Democratic Party, helpful, consequential, brilliant. Read it and pass the book and message on—quickly!”
—Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Dirt Road Revival is exactly what you want it to be: a fast-moving political road trip, through the winding back roads of deep-red rural America, to a joyful destination that will have you leaping to your feet and lunging for the collection plate. Maxmin and Woodward share the driving as generously as their hard-won wisdom. Along the way, they lay out a detailed and powerful map for transforming electoral campaigning in the United States. If enough insurgent politicians follow them down the road they’re traveling, it could lead to a progressive super-majority across the country.”
—Naomi Klein, author of On Fire and The Shock Doctrine

“Chloe and Canyon did not win because they knew it all—they won because they listened to and believed in rural voters and the stories they told them at the doors and along the many dirt roads they traveled. Dirt Road Revival explains how we got here as a party—losing ground every cycle—and the road we can take to start connecting with rural voters again. It’s our job as Democrats not to come in with capes but rather to do exactly what Dirt Road Revival lays out—deeply care about the voters you are looking at in the eye, advocate with them and never back down from a fight. It is exactly that fighting spirit that earns respect from rural folks and starts to win back their hearts and their votes.”
—Jane Kleeb, author of Harvest the Vote: How Democrats Can Win Again in Rural America

“‘Things move at the speed of relationship in rural America,’ write Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward in their groundbreaking book Dirt Road Revival. Their pragmatic vision shows us why the pastoral and wilder quarters of America cannot be so easily categorized. We see how rural communities can become the bedrock of a transformational politics that can speak to the nuances and complexities of this moment in time.  If the open space of democracy is to remain open, this spirited book is going to be required reading. Dirt Road Revival moves progressive grassroots organizing into the practice of deep listening, the secret of radical leadership.”
—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Erosion: Essays of Undoing

Table Of Contents

PREAMBLE
A Handshake

PART I: TAKE A BACK ROAD—RURAL AMERICA AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

CHAPTER 1
Down the Dirt Road: What’s Up with Rural America?

CHAPTER 2
How Democrats Left Rural America in the Rearview

PART II: DIRT ROAD REVIVAL—OUR CAMPAIGNS IN THE MOST RURAL COUNTY IN THE MOST RURAL STATE IN AMERICA

CHAPTER 3
House District 88

CHAPTER 4
Lucky District 13

PART III: AS THE DUST SETTLES—A NEW WAY FORWARD

CHAPTER 5
Strategic Principles

CHAPTER 6
Campaign Build

CHAPTER 7
Living It on the Dirt Roads

Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Notes

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