Cynthia Kaufman

Cynthia Kaufman photo by Rosa Davidson

Cynthia Kaufman is the director of the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, where she also teaches community organizing and philosophy. The author of Getting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope (Lexington Books, 2012), she is a lifelong social change activist, having worked on issues such as tenants’ rights, police abuse, union organizing, international politics, and most recently climate change.

Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, 2nd Ed.

Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, 2nd Ed.

SKU: 9781629631479
Author: Cynthia Kaufman
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629631479
Published: 6/2016
Format: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9
Page count: 352
Subjects: Political Theory / Politics-Activism


“There’s a long-running conversation about what’s wrong with our world and how to fix it. Ideas for Action fills in the ‘backstory’ that can help you to join that conversation.”
—Jeremy Brecher, author of Strike!

“This an extraordinary book made attractive by its optimism, passion, and brainpower. Ideas for Action is unblemished, stimulating and unusually bold in its critiques and alternatives. It’s a profound and panoramic exploration work of the most powerful and practical ideas needed for a true, radical social change. Professor Kaufman not only points us to the right direction, but also articulates those practical steps in the context of a troubling globalized neoliberal politics.”
—john a. powell, director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC-Berkeley, and author of Racing for Justice

“Having cut her teeth in the 1980s Central American solidarity movement and continuing today as a local tenants’ rights activist, Cynthia Kaufman weaves her story into a brilliant and seamless theoretical work on radical activism in the United States. Although Kaufman holds a doctorate in philosophy, and her deep and extensive knowledge of political theory from Karl Marx to Stuart Hall is clearly presented, this book is no academic monograph, rather a manual for organizers and for the people. Kaufman’s modest yet sure voice is that of the best of feminist and social justice writing today.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Outlaw Woman

“What is remarkable about Cynthia Kaufman’s book Ideas for Action is how it steps back from our day-to-day struggles to gain historical and theoretical perspective, and then moves forward again to use these perspectives for the solution of specific, immediate problems. The book ranges broadly over many contemporary problems, and manages to be both theoretical and practical in the analysis of these problems.”
—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

“The world is in dire need of hope. Right now people are encouraged to be suspicious, authoritarian, belligerent, and hateful rather than to be hopeful. As intellectuals and scholars we are needed more than ever, especially by young people, to shine a light on the possibility of social change. Professor Kaufman does just that in this book. In her own words, she hopes to ‘stimulate thought and encourage wondering’—two things we are in desperate need of. A wonderful book well worth reading and giving to others.”
—Aída Hurtado, author of The Color of Privilege

Ideas for Action makes it plain! This is an excellent and very readable overview of what’s wrong with the world and about how we can work to make it better. Kaufman explains a great deal—capitalism, globalization, racial and gender inequality, the threatened environment—in a way that is both accessible and sophisticated. She never loses sight of the practical issues: the need for change, and ways to make change for the better. I particularly liked her treatment of racism as an injustice to everybody. Ideas for Action will be a great textbook for many courses in many subject areas.”
—Howard Winant, author of The World Is a Ghetto

The Sea Is Rising and So Are We: A Climate Justice Handbook

The Sea Is Rising and So Are We: A Climate Justice Handbook

SKU: 9781629638652
Author: Cynthia Kaufman • Introduction: Bill McKibben
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629638652
Published: 6/2021
Format: Paperback
Size: 5 x 8
Page count: 192
Subjects: Global Warming & Climate Change/Civics & Citizenship


The Sea Is Rising and So Are We is a rare kind of book, at once a primer for activists and an astute commentary on a set of critical topics that even a seasoned climate stalwart could benefit from. It takes on some really tough questions—transformational change, how to talk about the emergency, the need for a specifically global politics of climate justice—and it does in a manner that is both simple and sophisticated. It’s not an easy balance, but Kaufman pulls it off.”
—Tom Athanasiou, author of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming

“Cynthia Kaufman’s The Sea Is Rising and So Are We is a valuable overview of where we as a species are in the existential fight to prevent catastrophic climate disruption. It covers a lot, from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment of our situation to the need for a personally supportive movement culture to sustain our climate activism. It is an accessible, up-to-date resource both for those who have been in the climate fight for decades and those who know they need to do so but haven’t yet figured out how.”
—Ted Glick, longtime climate organizer and author of Burglar for Peace

“In The Sea Is Rising and So Are We Cynthia Kaufman has provided us with a vital manual for confronting the climate crisis and its root causes. Kaufman offers compelling analysis, a comprehensive mapping of the political landscape, and practical guidance for action—all in a straightforward and accessible manner. Most importantly, she offers hope.”
—Tony Roshan Samara, Program Director of Land Use and Housing at Urban Habitat

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