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Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad

Getting a Grip
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ISBN 9780979414244

By Frances Moore Lappé

Available for purchase in the 2010 edition.

In nine short chapters of this book, which won the 2008 Nautilus Small Press Gold Award and the 2008 Nautilus Silver Award in Social Change/Activism, Lappé leaves readers feeling liberated and courageous. She flouts conventional right-versus-left divisions and affirms readers' basic sanity—their intuitive knowledge that it is possible to stop grasping at straws and grasp the real roots of today's crises, from hunger and poverty to climate change and terrorism. Because we are creatures of the mind, says Lappé, it is the power of "frame"—our core assumptions about how the world works—that determines outcomes. She pinpoints the dominant failing frame now driving out planet toward disaster.

By interweaving fresh insights, startling facts, and stirring vignettes of ordinary people pursuing creative solutions to our most pressing global problems, Lappé uncovers a new, empowering "frame" through which real solutions are emerging worldwide. She writes: "My book's intent is to enable us to see what is "happening all around us but is still invisible to most of us." It is about people in all walks of life who are penetrating the spiral of despair and reversing it with new ideas, ingenious innovation—and courage."


This is not an ordinary book: it’s more like a new pair of glasses, allowing you to see everything around you with greater clarity. Suddenly the world is more comprehensible, more manageable, even more beautiful. You won’t want to take them off."

—Barbara Kingsolver

Displaying her usual laser-like logic…crystalline assessments virtually leap off the page."


Original… out-of-the-box… if this book isn’t inspirational and helpful, then I don’t know what is."


A whole new way to think and act… I love Getting a Grip… great positive energy… Read it now."

—Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

No popular intellectual has been so very successful in reshaping the character and content of debates…as this remarkable woman… Lappé has succeeded masterfully."

—John Nichols

Author of The Nation

There is a small number of people in every generation who are forerunners in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. Frances Moore Lappé is one of those."

—Howard Zinn

Author of A People's History of the United States

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