Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy

Andrew Yang. Crown, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-23865-3
Yang (The War on Normal People) reflects on his 2020 presidential campaign and offers prescriptions for America’s social ills in this earnest yet lackluster account. After a hasty run-through of his childhood and rise from part-time test-prep tutor to CEO of the company, Yang delves into his underdog bid for the Democratic nomination, discussing how he gained followers by making his “Twitter voice more colloquial and casual, even a little sassy”; sharing behind-the-scenes details about memorable moments, including the time he teared up at a gun violence forum; and expressing frustration with the “persistent minimization” he received from cable news outlets. Yang then switches gears to address “institutional failures” in the U.S., including the CDC’s “slow and cumbersome response” to Covid-19, wealth disparity, the decline of local journalism, police brutality, and “legislative gridlock and dysfunction.” His solutions include a universal basic income, ranked-choice voting, 18-year term limits for the House and Senate, and tax breaks for local media outlets. Yang presents these policy ideas succinctly and with confidence, but has little to say about how they might be achieved, and his moments of genuine self-reflection are intermittent. This extended stump speech is unlikely to draw many new members to the Yang Gang. Agent: David Larabell, CAA. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/10/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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