Mark Green, president of the New Democracy Project and Air America,called me on the phone the other day to talk about the now released book he co-edited, Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President.
“So it turns out that these past eight years in the wilderness allowed–or compelled–scores of progressive thinkers to do promising work in think tanks, universities, congressional offices,” he said.
Green told me he approached Center for American Progress (CAP) president John Podesta (now on leave to serve as transition chief for President Obama) in December 2006 about gathering together “the best thinking of progressive scholars, activists, and officials into a one-stop shopping, comprehensive volume discussing how to move from a conservative to progressive presidency.” Green edited a similar book for President Clinton in 1991 and wanted to repeat the effort for the 2008 cycle.
Yesterday, nearly two years later, Green and co-editor Michele Jolin–senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund– released the 300,000-word opus that features chapters written by67 scholars, advocates, authors, and officials. As Green described tome the book is “a one volume manual of ideas–not just a list ofsolutions but its bricks and architecture; its nuts and bolts andframework. The proposals are organized around four values that shouldanimate us from 2009 through 2016.”
The four core values at the heart of the book are: democracy, diplomacy, economic opportunity and a greener world. These values are the foundation for the plan which the editors call “Progressive Patriotism” because–as Green notes in his introduction–“there’s nothing more American than always seeking to do things better.”
A look at the contributors reveals writers and thinkers whoNation readers will be familiar with: Bracken Hendricks and