• The Gift of Anger

  • How to Use Passion to Build, Not Destroy
  • By: Joe Solmonese
  • Narrated by: Tom Dheere
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-09-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3.2 (5 ratings)

Regular price: $14.95

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Publisher's Summary

Under Joe Solmonese's leadership, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT rights organization, became the model other organizations look toward to create effective social and political change. Ranked among the National Journal's top five most effective groups, HRC was instrumental in passing landmark national legislation such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the passage of marriage equality in eight states.
Beginning with a moving story of working with Matthew Shepard's mother Virginia in passing the hate crimes bill that bears Matthew's name, Solmonese shows how he discovered that channeled anger can drive a commitment to change. Mrs. Shepard taught him to keep his unquestionably justifiable anger from blinding him in the moment, and instead use it strategically, in the service of a larger purpose. In this book he uses the lessons he learned during his tenure at HRC, as well as his previous position as the CEO of Emily's List, and his current work as a corporate consultant, to teach listeners how they can affect real, lasting change in society and at work. His often-surprising lessons may not be entirely expected or celebrated by all groups, e.g., don't shame your enemies, find allies wherever you can, and ask for the doable, not the impossible. Most striking in this book are the stories of Joe's ability to draw some kind of win - however small - from seeming enemies. Many of these former enemies became stalwart allies over time. Joe's book is more concerned with the "long game" of changing culture and achieving long-term goals, not the "short game" of enforcing purity or litmus tests.
©2016 Joe Solmonese (P)2016 Joe Solmonese
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ammon Anderson on 12-12-16

Amazing info packaged in a biased political hammer

If you could sum up The Gift of Anger in three words, what would they be?

Informative, Biased & Preachy

If you’ve listened to books by Joe Solmonese before, how does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any others. But I probably would just to compare the tone from this to his other work.

What about Tom Dheere’s performance did you like?

I felt like he did an average job. I wanted more emotion and varying pacing. It seemed to move exactly at 5mph regardless of the content. However, he did a fine job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"How we manipulated public perception and won!" This would make an incredibly interesting documentary. However, if this was turned into a documentary I would assume a more balanced perspective would be given.

Any additional comments?

This book was wonderful. It may not seem like that from the answers above. I was turned off by the self-righteous tone of the author. I agree with many of his beliefs and disagree with a few. But even as he spoke about changing the tone of the HRC and the GLBT's approach to winning over public perception and using anger instead of just vocalizing it... he still spoke really condescendingly about any person or religion or organization that challenged his personal beliefs. Almost like beating them was just a means to an end and they didn't really matter in the scheme of things. This was very bothersome to me. A minority should be able to have compassion for other minorities/groups challenges and perceptions.It really detracted from the overall message that I think was amazing! The overall concept is EXACTLY what Black Lives Matter should implement to shift public opinion ASAP.He used the phrase "I knew we were on the right side of history" probably over a dozen times as a way to basically say everyone else is wrong to believe differently than he did, or feel differently. For someone who wants other people to respect his views and feelings, he didn't offer genuine respect back. At least not in the writing.I think that with a few edits to remove the negative underlying message this could be one of the most important books on compromise, learning to respect others, seeking common ground and finding mutual solutions to HUGE social problems we would have for this generation. And that is high praise from me indeed.I was able to read past the understandable contempt and truly appreciated the wisdom of working with others in challenging situations. Fantastic ideas here. WAY too much political-view superiority and preaching. And I am not a right-wing conservative.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Daman on 01-07-17

Insightful and Informative at times

Where does The Gift of Anger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Had some interesting concepts, which I didn't necessarily agree with, but with an open mind I think the presentation of this book was good. It was biased at times, and didn't deliver the message the title intended to accomplish.

Any additional comments?

"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

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