Monday, June 16, 2008

A Book Club For Progressives, Liberals And All Those On The Left

A bright and progressive idea is hitting the market today and you can sign on by simply clicking a button (and filling some stuff out as well). The Progressive Book Club is launching now to get the progressive community and those linked to it to read books with a social conscience and a message that most liberals can agree with. The conservatives have had tools like this in their arsenal for decades, now its time that we had it too.

From The NY Times:

Starting on Monday, the new Progressive Book Club is inviting readers to join and buy three books at $1 apiece in exchange for the obligation to buy four books over the next two years.

The brainchild of Elizabeth Wagley, a former fund-raiser and communications adviser for nonprofit groups including Doctors of the World, the Progressive Book Club is trying to update the paradigm of such familiar institutions as the Book-of-the-Month Club, as well as the 44-year-old Conservative Book Club.

Ms. Wagley said that she believed the new book club would fill a void for progressively minded readers. “The right has always understood the power of ideas, the power of books as legitimizers of ideas,” she said. “I see the opportunity with the book-club structure to create a powerful tool to showcase the ideas of the left.”

As with a classic book club, members of the new club will be offered a slate of books each month, reviewed and chosen by a panel that includes the novelists Michael Chabon, Erica Jong and Barbara Kingsolver; John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation magazine; and Todd Gitlin, the author and a journalism and sociology professor at Columbia University.

I don't know about you, but the deal sounds almost too good to be true, but I'll take it anyway. Reading seven books within two years doesn't sound too challenging, especially for the voracious literary appetites of liberals across the country. I couldn't imagine signing up for something similar on the other side and reading the likes of Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter, but you can hand me works by Rachel Carson and Matt Taibbi any day.