PRAISE FOR GRASSROOTS BY PHIL CAMPBELL
"Campbell has written a mordantly funny account of the erosion of his youthful ideals." — The Chicago Reader
"Phil Campbell's account of a lost local political campaign is smart, rueful, and relentless funny (his portrait of Seattle, with its piety and precipitation, is one of the best I've ever encountered). It's also a reminder that all politics is not merely local—it's personal, too, in every sense of the word." — James Marcus, author of "Amazonia" and Harper's deputy editor
"Campbell has written a mordantly funny account of the erosion of his youthful ideals."
The Chicago Reader
"Phil Campbell is a passionate, sharp, and truly hilarious writer. He manages to be moving and sincere while still finding the absurd humor in most situations. When I get his stuff, I tear through it. His book was a pleasure to read." — Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine and winner of the 2010 American Book Award
"Phil Campbell's Zioncheck for President is a blunt, hilarious assessment of an idealistic and ultimately ill-fated city council bid he managed. Highly recommended!" – literary and cultural critic, Maud Newton
"Phil Campbell is a passionate, sharp, and truly hilarious writer. He manages to be moving and sincere while still finding the absurd humor in most situations."
Victor LaValle, author of "Big Machine" and winner of the 2010 American Book Award
"Phil Campbell's 'Zioncheck for President, is a very entertaining account from the front lines (or front seat, rather, given how much time he spends in his '95 Geo Prizm) of a race for Seattle City Council, is one such book. It also happens to make good use of the industry rush for immediacy, a practice that generally ensures mediocrity. On the face of it, a story set during the summer and fall of 2001 might not seem to have much to do with the present day -- the references and events are simultaneously strangely familiar and just out of reach. But his incredibly candid portrait of idealism and disaffection as seen through the exploits of two young activists serves as a diagnosis for anyone struggling to reconcile individual efficacy with an indifferent world." – The Boston Globe
"Phil Campbell has written a hell of a book, a wild and tender campaign memoir that reads like a deadpan comic novel. Zioncheck for President is at once an ode to progressive politics, a hilarious study of nineties punk rock fallout, a call to arms for everybody (except maybe crazy housemate Doug) sick of the status quo, and a relentlessly amusing buddy tale about two young men filled with hope, dread and coffee who, against the instincts of their generation, try to make a difference in the American electoral circus."- Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land and The Ask
"We live in a polarized America--left versus right, Democrat versus Republican, anarchist versus barista--but Phil Campbell's suspenseful, funny, and refreshingly bitter account of the race for Seattle city council is enough to inspire anyone."
- Mo Rocca
"Phil Campbell has written a hell of a book."
Sam Lipsyte, author of "Home Land" and "The Ask"
"Zioncheck for President is an absolutely remarkable book, smart and self-aware and — oh God I hate to use this incredibly stupid phrase, but it's true — laugh-out-loud funny… It's one of the only political books I've read that never once comes off as sanctimonious or preachy. (How did he do that? Someone tell me before I write another book-banning post.) And unlike other books about progressivism (How We Can Take Back the White House, Assuming It's OK with the Republicans, Because We Don't Want to Start Any Fights or Anything, Random House, 2005), it's inspiring without being annoyingly Pollyannaish. Mostly, it's just a great story. And Campbell's a great writer." – Michael Schaub, Bookslut Entry #1
"Seriously, go buy Phil Campbell's Zioncheck for President, the only political book I've read in years that didn't make me weep with frustration. He does a great job... I know almost nothing about Seattle — I can identify the Seahawks logo, and that's about it — but Campbell does a great job explaining how the political game is played in the city. It doesn't feel like a local book; the themes are universal, and anyone who's ever invested emotional energy in politics, whether local or national, can relate. – Michael Schaub, Bookslut Entry #2
"Campbell skillfully captures the tension, frustrations and small victories that serve as emotional mileposts on a campaign, and his running commentary on the city of Seattle and its neighborhoods and citizens give depth to the narrative." – Publisher's Weekly
"Zioncheck for President transcends a merely ironic tale of grassroots politics to provoke thought about history and its lessons." - Booklist
"A fast-paced mix of memoir and gonzo reporting." — The Seattle Times
"Put down that pretentious crap you've been slugging through and read Zioncheck For President. Now. You'll like it. You'll fly through it. You'll wonder if you're in it (you're not)." - www.seattlest.com
"This is not the memoir of a political or spiritual giant, but that's why it's so great. Regular guy gets into politics, learns a few things, but mostly gets his ass kicked. Somehow, he makes it all seem worthwhile." — Street News Service
"[Grassroots] is the perfect distillation of any political insider's memoir, and Campbell's candor sets the book apart from those huge-advance national campaign bios."
"Phil Campbell's excellent new book, Zioncheck for President: A True Story of Idealism and Madness in American Politics, tells the story of two of them: maverick US Representative Marion Anthony Zioncheck, who committed suicide in 1936, and writer and activist Grant Cogswell, who ran a grassroots, DIY campaign for Seattle City Council in 2001..It's the rare political book that's both genuinely sad and funny -- intertwined with a short narrative about Zioncheck's life and career. It's a great book, and well worth checking out, particularly if you've ever worked for -- or even cared about -- a local political campaign. Campbell's the kind of writer who can create suspense even when you know the outcome (I'm not going to reveal whether the underfunded, bisexual punk-rock rabble rouser defeats the moderate incumbent, but you can probably guess), and he does a beautiful job of describing the political and cultural geography of 21st-century Seattle...Read this book and get inspired."
– Michael Schaub, Huffington Post
"This is the perfect distillation of any political insider's memoir, and Campbell's candor sets the book apart from those huge-advance national campaign bios."
– The Stranger
"Campbell skillfully illustrates the emotional rollercoaster of running a campaign, avoiding the minutiae of the administrative duties and treating the campaign as a living, breathing thing." — The Omaha Reader
" Zioncheck For President, by Phil Campbell, is one of the best books I've read all year. The book, about an eccentric Seattle city-council race, perfectly captures the joys and frustrations of left-wing politics, yet unlike most lefty books, doesn't preach and doesn't leave you feeling hopeless. A truly fine nonfiction book that reads like a good novel. Check it out." - Neal Pollack
"Zioncheck for President is a novelistic, funny, and deeply personal narrative of Phil's involvement in the Cogswell campaign. We should all be so lucky as to have something this honest and compelling to write about. I hope the book is a big hit." – Jim Hanas, www.hanasiana.com
"[Zioncheck] may not sound like material for a minor little masterpiece, and I surely didn't expect one when, after some unconscionable procrastinating, I finally opened it up for a read. But the book – funny, sad, serious, and illuminating - works uncannily well on several levels, including one or two that I didn't know existed…[Zioncheck] will give you goose bumps." — The Memphis Flyer