Foreword Reviews

Tools for Grassroots Activists

Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement

2016 INDIES Winner
Honorable Mention, Business & Economics (Adult Nonfiction)
2016 INDIES Winner
Gold, Ecology & Environment (Adult Nonfiction)

This concentration of excellent advice is worth several close reads, not only for environmental activists, but for any nonprofit grassroots movement.

Featuring names as big as 350.org and Jane Goodall, this collection of environmental and grassroots wisdom is distilled from the Patagonia clothing company’s biennial Tools Conference. Topics are both practical and ground-level, including strategic planning, lobbying, and the historical successes of community activist movements. Essays by experts in the field dominate the book, interspersed by large photographs and case studies of successful environmental movements.

Activists will find Patagonia Tools a useful resource, considering not only its sound, efficiently delivered advice, but also the resources listed at the end of each chapter, the effective index, and the orderly chapter organization. It functions most effectively as a sourcebook, next as a reference, and readers will no doubt want to take notes as they peruse. The book is generally optimistic about the ability of activists to make a change, but it remains practical throughout. Its ideal readers are already aware of the problems they want to solve and passionate about their cause, but untutored in the realities of social change. The balance of serious, somewhat dense didactic essays with vivid photographs and glowing examples of triumphs, like the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, will help to maintain the spirits of activists who find themselves disappointed that changing the world can be such a slog.

Any grassroots movement, whether it is new or seasoned, could benefit from the use of this book. It is the next logical destination after a brainstorming session and the blueprint for a successful activist campaign. Consider it required reading for anyone committed to making a difference.

Reviewed by Anna Call

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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