Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

America, We Need to Talk

A Self-Help Book for the Nation

by Joel Berg

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The newest book by Joel Berg—internationally recognized leader and media spokesman in the fields of hunger, poverty, food systems, and U.S. politics, and the director of Hunger Free America—America We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation is both a parody of relationship and self-help books and a serious analysis of the nation’s political and economic dysfunction. Explaining that the most serious—and most broken—relationship is the one between us, as Americans, and our nation, the book explains how, no matter who becomes our next president, average Joes can channel their anger with our hobbled system into concrete actions that will fix our democracy, rebuild our middle class, and restore our stature in the world as a beacon of freedom and hope. Starting with the belief that it is irresponsible for Americans to blame the nation’s problems solely on “the politicians” or “the system,” Joel makes a case for how it is the personal responsibility of every resident of this country to fix it. The American people are in a relationship with their government and their society, and, as in all relationships, it is the responsibility of both sides to recognize and repair their problems.

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Buying options

“It is both important and entertaining. We need both—I’ve never seen the political world so sad, so foolish. So dangerous. This book will certainly help.”

“A timely take-no-prisoners argument for sane and humane policies by the master truth-teller, Joel Berg. Been wondering how we can really make America great again? Read this book.”

“Joel Berg has done it again with another book to challenge policy makers and Americans to think boldly and creatively about how to solve some of the biggest issues facing our nation. Joel won’t rest until we end hunger and poverty once and for all. And, quite frankly, we need more people like him.”

“In AMERCA WE NEED TO TALK: A SELF HELP BOOK FOR THE NATION, Joel Berg combines wit, dogged research, and insight based on decades of on-the-ground experience to drill down deeply on issues vital to all Americans. His call for more civility in our modern public discourse, as well as his proposals for wholesale social change based on centrist policies and mainstream values, deserve particular attention. While we may not concur on all his critiques and solutions, we surely should agree that the issues he raises demand wide-spread consideration and debate.”

“Fearless and compulsively readable, America, We Need to Talk will make you laugh, think and snort coffee through your nose. Joel Berg is that irascible uncle who speaks the unmentionable truth at family dinners. You may squirm, but secretly you’re glad he’s there.”

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Labeled “Mister Frowny Pants” by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (on which he once appeared), JOEL BERG is the CEO of Hunger Free America, which the Nation called “one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.” Berg wrote the decade’s definitive book on US hunger, All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008). Playboy (which Berg reads only for the reviews) called the book “refreshing” for its “optimism . . . rationality and passion.” Berg has also published numerous op-eds, poems, and policy papers and was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Policy Analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute, two DC-based think tanks. Berg has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches on four continents and in thirty-seven states, from Maine to Alaska, while surviving moose attacks and volcanic eruptions. One audience member wrote, “Seeing Joel Berg speak in person is like watching the History Channel, C-Span, and Comedy Central all at once.”  Noted by City Limits magazine for his “trademark good-natured snarkiness,” Berg has been covered extensively by national and international media, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, CNN, National Public Radio, The Kudlow ReportAll In with Chris Hayes, and the NBC Evening News, and quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and tons of obscure blogs. Berg has also been featured in three documentary films. Prior to joining Hunger Free America, Berg worked for eight years in senior executive service positions in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, served on the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team, and staffed the 1992 Bill Clinton for President campaign. While working for 13 years as a political campaign professional, Berg lived in Kansas, Alaska, New Jersey, Maine, Arkansas, and New York. He now resides in Brooklyn, New York but has yet to overdose on local, artisanal kale chips.