Rules for Radicals, by Saul D. Alinsky.
Alinsky, who is not one of us, is a
genius at understanding mass movements and how to organize them. This is must reading for people who are
trying to build a political party or recruit a large volunteer organization.
Pocket Pal, edited by Michael H Bruno.
The best intro to graphic arts I
know of. This book tells you enough to
make you very dangerous in dealing with printers, artists, etc.
The Effective Executive, by Peter F. Drucker.
A short (!) book by Drucker that
gives harried executives some guidelines for survival. Introduced me to a totally new way of looking
at campaign management.
On Business Communications, by Rudolf Flesch.
Still the best book on writing. His
methods are particularly adaptable to political writing. Flesch wrote Why Johnny Can't Read.
The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer.
A penetrating study of why people
join groups. A good, though
controversial, book that should be helpful in recruiting and keeping
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli.
Still one of the best books about
the art of politics. Despite Noccolo's
bad reputation, there is much in this book for the gentlest of politicians.
Ogilvy On Advertising, by (you guessed it) David
Ogilvy differs from most
advertising geniuses in that he sets out rules to follow in advertising
campaigns. Good rules and humorous,
Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, recorded by William L.
Probably the best description of
the "old style" politics in print today. Useful reading in order to fathom the psyche
of your opponents (many of whom still think like traditional hack politicians)
as well as reaching an understanding of community based politics.
Graphic Designer's Production Handbook, by Norman
If you have to design & print
your own campaign materials, this is a handy book to have. It answers all the questions you might have
when dealing with printers & layout artists.
The Responsive Chord, by Tony Schwartz.
Schwartz is a Democrat media
consultant, but also one of the few people who think about the media and why it
persuades and sometimes fails to persuade.
This book is a textbook for people who want to understand the power and
limitations of broadcast media.
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.
Take out the word "War"
and insert "Politics" and you have the best political text ever
written. No one has done a better job of
defining political strategy since 400 BC.
The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbookfor the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
A quick and fun guide to punctuation. As good as Strunk (the Elements of Style) and
dramatically more fun. If you are going
to work in a campaign you have to be able to communicate, which means you have
to use English correctly, which means you have to know where to put those pesky
Up the Organization, by Robert Townsend.
Townsend is the guy who made Avis
the 2nd largest car rental company in the world by ignoring all the
traditional wisdom about running a corporation.
An excellent guide to management in easy one page bites.