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Thread: Books that define a movement.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Books that define a movement.

    Over the weekend I was at a major chain book store to purchase a book called Liberty and Tyranny; A Conservative Manifesto. Several sources have reported that this is the book that will define the resurgence of the conservative movement in America. Apparently the book is far more popular than anyone anticipated because I was informed that the chain (B&N) is sold out. Apparently the first run of the book sold out far faster than anyone could have anticipated. Not believing the extremely rude and rather angry clerk at the book store (wearing an Obama) button, I went on line. Soonest anyone could get me the book is the second week of April!

    The popularity and demand for this book got me thinking about the concept of a book defining a particular movement. This would not be the first one either. Even in Planning we have several books that have defined particular movements including Suburban Nation which some say is the founding book for new urbanism. (I disagree). Even our profession as a whole recognizes “The Green Bible”.

    Of course people will agree that “THE BIBLE” is the defining book for Christianity and each of the religions have their own ‘book’ that shapes that movement.

    I guess it could be agreed that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are both documents that defined the movement to create a free, democratic nation.

    What other books have ‘defined a movement’ that you are aware of? What are your thought on these documents?
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson. It was a landmark book about our impact on the earth and environment, especially pesticides, in the early 1960s. Since then, many great books have been written about environmentalism, but none had the initial impact her book did.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    The Monkey Wrench Gang - manifesto of ecoterrorists. I am a greenie, but after reading that book, I thought Hayduke was an a$$hole and really needed to be behind bars.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Breasts, Dungeons & Darwin

    This Bear would argue that Playboy defined a movement. Not sure of the label that you could attach.....certainly not pornography (although many disagree).....but it did help to jump-start a movement in the late 1950s that took us from being in shock with a simple "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn!" to general acceptance of sex being a part of life that should not be confined to a bedroom.

    A couple movements were helped-along by Charles Darwin and his Origin of the Species. Creationism and evolution continue to move people (and create tons of arguments).

    The first edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide helped start a movement that continues today (with a certain geekier type of folk).

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Al Gore's Earth in the Balance started the movement warning of the manbearpig.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    "Our Bodies Ourselves" certainly changed the life of many women, with a chain reaction thru the next generation(s). It brought women's health, body, and sexuality issues into the open on a mass basis. It was "the bible" in my day.

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    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    In a long-term struggle to save the drive-in movie theater industry, Joe Bob Briggs Joe Bob Goes to the Movies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Bob_Briggs
    Annoyingly insensitive

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    There are movements and there are Movements

    I nominate Flushed With Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper by Wallace Reyburn.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    They started movements that, while big in their respective days, are now either largely or completely discredited:

    The Communist Manifesto
    Das Capital
    and
    Mein Kampf

    Mike

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Ian McHarg's Design by Nature (1969) - environmental planning & overlay map method for GIS
    GIS Hall of Fame http://www.urisa.org/node/394
    Last edited by JNA; 30 Mar 2009 at 11:33 PM.

  11. #11
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    It seems like the back of every single political commentary book has some random newspaper book reviewer calling it "a book that will define a movement."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian
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    Ignited the Women's Liberation Movement in 1963 --->


  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Ms. Jane Jacobs
    The Death & Life of Great American Cities (1961)

    Although I beleive the impact of this book was not known until the 1980s and moreso in the 1990s. To me it was more double edged. First, the more common crtique of urban renewal of bulldozing didn't solve, but rather further torn down the urban fabric of a city. Second (for me) was the idea that you need life on the street (sidewalks, communication with neighbors, etc.) to make things viable and attractive.

    "Urban Gentrification" policies began to be changed in the 1970s, but better designs and understanding started to showup in the 80s & 90s.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Jack Kerouac, On The Road was a defining book for the Beat Generation as was The Dharma Bums. I think you could also point at the early Foxfire series of books as being emblematic of the 70's back to simpler ways movement.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  15. #15
    I would nominate Louisville's own Hunter S. Thompson for Gonzo Journalism in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

    RIP, HST.

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