The Truth was Yearlykos 2006. UnConventional is, of course, the book that was produced from that event. Original produced as an e-book, it is now available in print as a fundraiser for Yearlykos 2007.
I am one of the many - some well known, some not so well known - who make an appearance in the book. In this diary I hope to whet your appetite by sharing my appearance, telling you a bit more about it, and urging you to consider buying it.
After all, if you can't get to yearlykos, it is one way you can actually find out what some of us look like - if you dare, keep reading below the fold!
I appear on page 114-115, between Mark Warner on 113 and Larry Johnson on the two pages following mine. First, here is my picture:
In UnConventional, there is phrase from my statement which appears across the picture. After printing my name is says
"My awareness of segregation started me down the path of being a liberal."
In the biographical statement that sentence is emphasized.
You will note I am holding a picture taken of me when I was quite young. In fact, that picture is almost contemporaneous with the incident I describe in my brief biographical statement.
Here is that statement:
I grew up in a household where my parents were moderate Republicans, and I actually distributed Republican literature in 1952 and 1956. But my own outlook began to change as the result of a winter vacation over Christmas break, 1956-57. When we arrived in Miami I noticed signs pointing outside for "colored" bathrooms," and the bathrooms in the terminal said "Whites only." Up to this point I had no awareness of segregation, even though there were no blacks in my suburban New York elementary school. I started to ask questions, and my timing was superb because the following Fall saw the desgregation of Central High School in Little Rock. I think it is fair to say that my awareness of segregation started me down the path of being a liberal.
In 1960, my mother, who held a state appointment from Republican Governor Nelson Rockefellar, told me that she was going to vote for Kennedy. First, both of my parents had encountered Nixon in the Office of Price Administration and could not stand him. But for my mother there was another issue. She said that if a Catholic could not get elected in 1960, what hope would there ever be for a Jew? My mother was quite insistent that we not have barriers to political participation at any level, for us as Jews, for Catholics, for Blacks, for anyone.
Both of my parents had a strong sense of social justice, which of course is part of the heritage of being Jewish. This also helped shaped my political views in the direction of being a liberal. I thought that government had a role to play in helping those in need, and I came to accept the idea that those who had more had a responsibility to help provide for those who had little. By the time I graduated from high school, I was committed to civil rights, to social justice, and I have been a liberal ever since.
For many well-known kossacks you will see pictures and statements such as these. Here I note that contrary from what you might expect from my diaries, mine is actually one of the shorter of such statements. You will be able to read about BarbinMD, Hunter, mcjoan, Jerome a Paris, ClammyC, thereisnospoon, kos, his wife Elisa, and many, many more. The quality of the photographs is outstanding, as is the superb layout of the book itself.
You will note my holding a picture of the young Ken, many decades before he became a picture. Not only will you see what we look like now, but you may be amazed at how we appeared in our younger days.
There are pictures of the big names - Howard Dean, Joe Wilson, Barbara Boxer, Wes Clark. There are pictures and descriptions of sessions. If you were there it will bring back many memories. If you were not, it will connect you with the vitality of what happened.
The book is tied together with extensive prose from one of the best writers in the blogosphere, our own Hunter. Let me tempt you with just the beginning of his opening essay, which appears on page 6:
My own trip starts from Northern California, just before the sun comes up. The valleys here are covered with fog, the sun is just beginning to light the eastern sky, and there are fourteen hours of driving ahead of me before I reach Las Vegas. The road goes through Sacramento, across the Donner pass to Reno, then drops down through the entirety of southwestern Nevada, through a procession of small desert towns that to visitors seem to each live and die in their own glass display cases, the still snowy upper peaks of the Sierra Nevadas never leaving the western horizon.
For Hunter, as for many of the attendees, this was the first ever political convention attendance. We got to know one another, from the well-known to some who were just lurkers, but still an essential part of the community. Two people who drew a lot of attention were our youngest blogger, 15 year old Ava Lowery, and a 70'ish woman named Ellie Perelli who had been a blogger, and through a fortunate set of circumstances was able to post her very first dkos diary as momster during the convention.
I bought the e-book version when it came out, and keep it on my laptop, where it is quite accessible and useful to help explain to people about dailykos and yearlykos. I am also purchasing the printed version. I suppose one could treat it like a yearbook, and go get all the people who appear to sign it for you. I probably won't do that (although I promise I will be willing to sign copies at yearlykos for anyone who really wants me to) - I can actually use it as a resource in my teaching, and sometimes books are more accessible than things on a computer. In fact, I may buy two copies, one for home and one for school?
In the past people have been willing to accept my recommendations on books. I am asking that once more you trust my judgment - and besides, this helps to raise money for Yearlykos, which keeps the costs down, which makes the convention more affordable.
Thanks for reading.
And now that you know what I look like, don't let that discourage you. There are a lot of pictures of good-looking people as well.