Unrig
An intruiging and accessible nonfiction graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy.Despite our immense political divisions, Americans are nearly united in our belief that something is wrong with our government: It works for the wealthy and powerful, but not for anyone else. Unrig exposes the twisted roots of our broken democracy and highlights the heroic efforts of those unrigging the system to return power to We the People.This stirring nonfiction graphic novel by democracy reform leader Daniel G. Newman and artist George O’Connor takes readers behind the scenes—from the sweaty cubicles where senators dial corporate CEOs for dollars, to lavish retreats where billionaires boost their favored candidates, to the map rooms where lawmakers scheme to handpick their voters. Unrig also highlights surprising solutions that limit the influence of big money and redraw the lines of political power.If you're overwhelmed by negative news and despairing for the direction of our country, Unrig is a tonic that will restore your faith and reveal the path forward to fix our broken democracy.

Unrig Details

TitleUnrig
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherFirst Second
ISBN-139781250295309
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Comics, Politics

Unrig Review

  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Having been raised in a mostly-white mostly-middle-class part of a purple state, I understood that the United States is a government for, by, and of the people. But for the last ten years or so that hasn't felt like it was particularly true anymore... and it wasn't just because of the presidential election or the current unrest. Nobody seemed to be able to tell me why, though, and the few that tried fell into traps of Democrat and Republican stereotype talking points and attacks on the other par Having been raised in a mostly-white mostly-middle-class part of a purple state, I understood that the United States is a government for, by, and of the people. But for the last ten years or so that hasn't felt like it was particularly true anymore... and it wasn't just because of the presidential election or the current unrest. Nobody seemed to be able to tell me why, though, and the few that tried fell into traps of Democrat and Republican stereotype talking points and attacks on the other party. Which didn't make sense, really, because I know Democrats and Republicans and while everyone has points they differ on, we're really not as far apart (on the whole) at the grass roots level as we believe. Heck, I was raised Republican, and the Republican party of today is definitely not espousing the same values as the one that existed when I was in high school. So what the heck's been happening? Why can't we get along? Who the hell are the Koch Brothers and why do I care? How is Betsy DeVos in charge of education and why does it look like she's purposely destroying public schools? Why are the elections swinging directions that we don't expect, or don't want?When Scott McCloud mentioned this book on Twitter I decided to give it a shot, and it's done a very good job of describing the forces that are pressuring both our elected officials and the elections themselves. Daniel Newman puts forth a case (with a sizable bibliography) that the ultra-rich in the US banded together and started playing a long game years ago with the intent to take control of the democracy out of the hands of common citizens like you and me. Dark money influences both elections and the elected. It changes how our electoral maps are drawn. It prevents fair elections. It increases the financial effects of corporate lobbyists to get what they want. It's a freaking mess.But this book isn't just an explainer for what's happened over the last 20-50 years. It's also an explanation for what we, the people, can actually do about it. It explains ranked choice voting, clean elections, the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, and many other political tools that we can use to make our democracy more or less fair, and then what we can do to wield those tools.And look, if you've fully bought into the narrative that the government should be small and helpless and distrusted, or that people shouldn't help each other or work together for better lives because it's a dog-eat-dog world, you're probably not going to be a big fan. This book assumes that neighbors help neighbors, we all want better lives, and we can work together to get them. It doesn't ascribe to any specific ideology although it does make it clear that most of the dark money from the ultra-rich is going into the Republican party with the specific intent to undermine democracy.This book is for disillusioned Republicans, frustrated Independents, confused Democrats, and everyone else who's looking for an explanation of our current political and democratic situation in clear terms, with a compelling and precise visual and textual story. It's for everyone that needs a graphic novel (graphic textbook?) refresher in that civics class you might not have had in five, ten, twenty, or thirty years. It's for people thinking of getting into politics now, people thinking of getting into politics later, and people who are just sick of attack ads on television and always having the worst choices at the election box. The book has an accompanying website for bringing people who want to unrig our democracy together. And it's time.
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  • Jonathan Pinlac
    January 1, 1970
    Clear and concise general overview on the current state of our democracy. It's a very short read, but accompanied by great illustrations. The clarity of the arguments is useful. It's easy to get lost in the details and conspiracy when talking about things like dark money in politics. It also serves as a great entry point into a lot of the topics discussed such as fair elections, lobbying, and democratic participation. Most importantly, it presents some worthwhile issues to focus on and concrete Clear and concise general overview on the current state of our democracy. It's a very short read, but accompanied by great illustrations. The clarity of the arguments is useful. It's easy to get lost in the details and conspiracy when talking about things like dark money in politics. It also serves as a great entry point into a lot of the topics discussed such as fair elections, lobbying, and democratic participation. Most importantly, it presents some worthwhile issues to focus on and concrete paths to help enact change.While the book is expensive, all author proceeds go to the non-profit Maplight.
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  • Mr. Armstrong
    January 1, 1970
    Doesn't get more relevant than a graphic novel about how deeply broken and corrupt our institutions are. Or how important it is that we as citizens demand better. Now.
  • Stefanie
    January 1, 1970
    This nonfiction graphic novel belongs in all classrooms!
  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
  • Brian Clopper
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent! I feel so better informed and engaged. Every citizen should read this!
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    To be reviewed for Good Comics for Kids blog
  • Matt Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    The topic is always relevant but you can see why this was released now given the focus on the November election. Plenty of new (t0 me) concepts that the author explains in a way that is simple to understand but also allows for deeper review (including via the unrig website). I love the idea where local voters can determine which candidate gets a $$$ donation from the city...this gets the voting public more engaged and as the author notes there has been an increase in women and minority candidate The topic is always relevant but you can see why this was released now given the focus on the November election. Plenty of new (t0 me) concepts that the author explains in a way that is simple to understand but also allows for deeper review (including via the unrig website). I love the idea where local voters can determine which candidate gets a $$$ donation from the city...this gets the voting public more engaged and as the author notes there has been an increase in women and minority candidates (this is also because of stacked ranking votes).A reviewer noted this should be taught in school and I personally would love this to be given more prominence as a social justice topic. I can tell you that my 12 year old is reading it now, she was talking with me about the wealth hoarders yesterday afternoon!
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