(crossposted as Not Jon Henke at Not Larry Sabato)
In the advent of online activism and with the birth of a new era of citizen journalism enabled by the breakthroughs of new media, Netroots Rising is a necessary narration of a revolutionary movement – firsthand from two of its pioneers. It is necessary because, as it is often said, you can not know where you are going until you know where you have been – and this could not be more true than when attempting to understand the passion and pursuit of the progressive online phenomenon which Lowell Feld and Nate Wilcox’s Netroots Rising makes possible.
It is impossible to fully appreciate the current direction of the online narrative without understanding its initial driving forces – of which both the authors were, and still are, behind the wheel. Lowell Feld and Nate Wilcox’s telling of their trailblazing online campaigns is the story of activists putting into practice unproven groundbreaking tools for positive change and opening a door that enriched our political process through a never before achieved or envisioned level of inclusion and openness. Netroots Rising is genuinely the rare opportunity to see the snowball become the overwhelming avalanche that is now the online progressive movement.
From the historic Howard Dean campaign, to its trials in Texas, and to its finish with the successful ‘06 senate campaign in Virginia – Netroots Rising chronicles the birth of what is now an online army of bloggers told two of its initial boots on the ground. In exploring Senator Jim Webb of Virginia’s concept of “Be Your Own General,” Lowell an Nate illuminate not only the spark which set that winning campaign ablaze, but also reveal to the reader that they embodied the historic freshman senator’s concept themselves as generals who lead from the front. It is the strength of this spirit described in Netroots Rising which decides the realization of our revolutions, and it is Netroots Rising’s enablement of its understanding that makes it essential to our education.
“Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” – Cicero