Paint Your Town Red: How Preston Took Back Control and Your Town Can Too (Paperback)

Paint Your Town Red: How Preston Took Back Control and Your Town Can Too By Matthew Brown, Rhian Jones Cover Image
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Description


Paint Your Town Red tells the story of how one city in the north of England decided to level up without waiting for Whitehall.

Across the world, there is a growing recognition that a new kind of economy is needed: more democratic, less exploitative, less destructive of society and the planet. Paint Your Town Red looks at how wealth can be generated and shared at a local level through the experience of one of the main advocates of the new Democratic Economy, Matthew Brown, the driving-force behind the world-recognized Preston Model.

Using analysis, interviews and case studies to explain what Matthew and Preston City Council have done over the last decade in order to earn Preston the title of Most Improved City, the book shows how the model can be adapted to fit different local circumstances, as well as demonstrating how Preston itself adapted economic and democratic experiments in ‘community wealth-building’ from elsewhere in the US and Europe.

Preston’s success shows that the ideas of community wealth-building work in practice and have the capacity to achieve a meaningful transfer of wealth and power back to local communities. A lot of recent coverage and references have tended to oversimplify the Preston Model, which is not just about ‘buying local’ but a comprehensive project, which envisions local and regional discussions and collaboration adding up to a wholesale transformation of our currently failing economic systems.

About the Author


Matthew Brown is Labour's leader of Preston City Council and a Senior Fellow for the Democracy Collaborative, tasked also with promoting Community Wealth Building across the UK and abroad.

Rhian E. Jones is a writer, historian and author of four books on politics and popular culture. She is a founding editor of the New Socialist website and now edits Red Pepper and writes for Tribune magazine.

Praise For…


"Paint Your Town Red provides activists and campaigners with a critical insight into how they can transform their local economies from the ground up... Vital reading for all those campaigners, activists and local leaders seeking to rebuild their local economies in the wake of the pandemic." - Grace Blakeley, author of Stolen

"A very useful tool to describe how cities and towns can assess their current socio-economic paradigms and formulate new social transformation models based on economic democracy. Preston is leading today what Mondragon was starting decades ago." - Ibon Zugasti Gorostidi, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation

"This book is everything we need right now — a how-to guide to municipal socialism that works, right now in the present day, compiled by one of the contemporary left's best writers and one of its best councillors. Informative, clear, passionate and thoughtful, it should be mandatory reading for all socialists." - Owen Hatherley, author of Red Metropolis

"Of all the political experiments tried in the UK over the past decade of painful austerity and polarisation, the city of Preston ranks easily among the most daring and intriguing. This is an honest story of how it began, and the lessons it can teach the rest of us." - Aditya Chakrabortty, Senior Economics Commentator, The Guardian

Paint Your Town Red
 is a timely reminder that despite years of austerity and neoliberalism there are now genuine economic alternatives emerging in many towns, cities and regions across the UK." - John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor


"At a time of compounding economic, social and environmental challenges, Paint Your Town Red offers a powerful and detailed roadmap for how local public authorities, institutions and citizens can leave deprivation behind and rebuild their communities." - Gar Alperovitz & Ted Howard, Co-Founders, The Democracy Collaborative
Product Details
ISBN: 9781913462192
ISBN-10: 1913462196
Publisher: Repeater
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
Pages: 180
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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