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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 – 1 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199936781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199936786
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 1.8 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,267,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


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 through a lens primarily focused on those two campaigns... Kreiss's book offers to practitioners lessons learned from a decade of Democratic political online campaigns and provides scholars with a research agenda to further develop this important topic. (Presidential Studies Quarterly)

About the Author

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For people who want to move beyond the headlines and really understand what made the 2008 Obama campaign so special, this is the book to read. Kreiss' analysis is clear, convincing, and well-crafted and shows convincingly how "networked politics" and other forms of campaign innovations do not simply "happen", but are the results of long-term developments, personal networks, and institutino-building. He identifies the roots of the Obama campaign in the failed Howard Dean campaign in 2004, in the intense primary campaign between Clinton and Obama, and shows how the Democratic Party in the US came to leverage in practice the oft-talked-about political "potential" of digital technology. His books is necessary reading for students and scholars working political communication and digital politics, effectively draws in sociology and science and technology studies, while also remaining accessible to campaign professionals and general interest readers who want to get a better understanding of why campaigns campaign so differently.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
New Media - The Political Campaign Game-Changer 2 Sept. 2014
By Railway Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The advent of the Internet turned all previous thinking about political campaigning upside down on its head. The idea that websites, Facebook, online databases and other forms of social media could impact the results of an election has completely changed the way election campaigns are run. This book chronicles how the Democrats in the United States, starting with Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2003-04 and Barack Obama in 2008 developed their "New Media" strategies so as to marshal volunteer support in the campaign and to get supporters out to vote and gain an advantage over their political opponents.

While the book doesn't get too deep into the specifics of the tactics used, it chronicles the involvement of the key actors and the roles they played in the major developments. Reading between the lines, the reader can pick up some basic principles on how NOT to use New Media and how to use these tactics to advantage.

This is not, however, a book that you are going to read, digest, and remember in a day. It will take some re-reading of different sections to get the point and importance of what is being discussed. If you have the patience to do this, you'll get a good understanding of how the Internet and online databases changed the future of political organizing and campaigning. What the future holds for the inclusion of the Internet in political campaigns, only time will tell.
OK, but that's about it 12 May 2015
By Neil Bacon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One wades through a lot about individual personalities and backbiting when the interesting part was the technologies behind selling the Presidency to an evolving, increasingly digitally-savvy electorate. I think the author felt that the book would be too short, so added the character studies as filler, or so it seemed. Lots of repetition between chapters.
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