Review: You and What Army?

Posted on October 18, 2011


You and What Army?
How to Neutralize Conflict and Negotiate Justice: For the Totally Outgunned, Inwardly Timid, Burnt Out or Socially Defunct
By Lisa Bracken
New Flight Books
August 2011
872 pages

If there was ever the perfect convergence of book and movement that time is now. The movement is “Occupy Wall Street”. The book is You and What Army? Lisa Bracken has created a guidebook for negotiating not just change but evolution. She is a communications consultant and paralegal which gave her the solid foundation for what has been the true grit of her education and experience with conflict negotiation. Bracken has spent most of the past decade in negotiations with the oil and gas industry over the impacts of drilling on her and her family’s health, property, and the environment in general. Those of us who have lived under the shadow of natural gas drilling know all too well what a fire-breathing dragon the industry can be. Bracken is a modern warrior who is skilled at brandishing the sword of negotiation.

This is a big book – all 872 pages of it. However in the first chapter Bracken offers practical tips “for getting the most from this content”. Whether you are negotiating with a multi-national corporation, a political body, or a neighborhood bully, this book provides a road map toward conflict resolution. Bracken covers all the bases including the basics of the negotiation process, managing situational variables, the six steps in designing strategies, how to neutralize misinformation campaigns and implement leverage, just to name a few. Each chapter contains worksheets with a list of questions to help distill goals and objectives. Expertly woven into these guidelines is the critical importance of effective, broad-based communications. Perhaps the best example is the introduction of the “cloud coalition”, which brings people together from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds through online social networking. The detailed table of contents, the author’s conversational tone, and the wealth of information combine to make this an easy-to-navigate, invaluable resource for any of us who view ourselves as the 99%.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Peggy Tibbetts

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