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Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford Studies in Digital Politics) [Paperback]

Daniel Kreiss

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Book Description

6 Aug 2012 Oxford Studies in Digital Politics
Taking Our Country Back presents the previously untold history of the uptake of new media in Democratic electoral campaigning over the last decade. Drawing on interviews with more than sixty political staffers, fieldwork during the 2008 primaries and general election, and archival research, Daniel Kreiss shows how a group of young, technically-skilled Internet staffers came together on the Howard Dean campaign and created a series of innovations in organization, tools, and practice that have changed the elections game. He charts how these individuals carried their innovations across Democratic politics, contributing to a number of electoral victories, including Barack Obama's historic bid for the presidency. In revealing this history, the book provides a rich empirical look at the communication tools, practices, and infrastructure that shape contemporary online campaigning.

Taking Our Country Back is a serious and vital analysis, both on-the-ground and theoretical, of how a small group of visionary people transformed what campaigning means today and how technical and cultural work coordinates collective action.


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"Politics and the Internet seem today to have been made for one another, as analyses, rebuttals, gaffes and innuendo fly across the web, feeding an insatiable demand for 'news.' In his vivid analysis of the Dean and Obama campaigns, Dan Kreiss reveals how political advocacy and social media were first harnessed and mobilized, as new media tools and field operations were yoked together in ways that ultimately transformed how candidates compete for office. This marriage of computation and empowerment makes for odd bedfellows, and its wide-ranging consequences for politics are deftly assessed in this rich study."--Walter W. Powell, Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Professor of Sociology, Stanford University "Online media excite and confuse political candidates and electorates. In Taking Our Country Back, Daniel Kreiss offers a sophisticated and engaging account of the place networked media occupy in politics. Kreiss combines empirical data with theoretically informed insights to tell the story of contemporary networked politics. This is pioneering work and an essential read for all interested in politics and public life." --Zizi Papacharissi, Professor of Communication, University of Illinois-Chicago The manner in which he balances his complicity with scholarly critique in [the] opening chapter sells the book as a work of skilled ethnography. I think it likely that Taking Our Country Back ... will become a core text in courses and discussions of 21st century political campaigning."--Josh Braun's blog"This is an important and detailed history of networked politics in the US. ...Highly Recommended."--CHOICE"The book's meticulous tracking of various technologies, firms, and staffers' careers contextualizes how the successful 2008 Obama campaign stood on the virtual shoulders of the 2004 Dean campaign. Ultimately, Kreiss's findings fill a gap in extant research by exploring the interrelationship of new media nad politics thro

About the Author


Daniel Kreiss is Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 25 Oct 2012
By jessreviews1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating look at the ways networks and technology are reshaping electoral politics. Kreiss is a great writer and knows what he's talking about. I'd highly recommend this book to all the politicos and techies out there.
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