Boktips v53 – Truth to Power

Woman with book

Boktips v53

Titel: Truth to Power
Author: Jess Phillips
Published by: Octopus Publishing Group
Year: 2019

“You have more power than you think. Don’t give it away to people who don’t deserve it.”

Jess Phillips

This week´s boktips Truth to Power is a head-on gift of a manual for how to stand up to authority and ensure your voice is heard. Complete with a strategy for change broken down into a 7-point plan, the book is also filled with examples and names of the ‘accidental’ s/heroes who refused to accept the status quo, and whose actions have wielded unprecedented change. Such as those of Zelda Perkins, the personal assistant who first called out Harvey Weinstein; Tom Watson the British MP who successfully took on the Murdoch press empire and won; and Sara Rowbotham, the sexual-health worker who uncovered the abuse of young girls by gangs of Asian men in Rochdale and the ongoing subsequent cover-up by the authorities.

“Wherever there is a power imbalance that exists such as between men and women, white people and black people, rich and poor, boss or employee, then that power can breed oppressive behaviour.”

Alongside highlighting her journey to meeting inspirational people, Jess’ words makes no pretence of the difficulties that come with the job of speaking truth to power. For alongside the hoped-for final results, are details of the cost: the battle that comes with the sometimes global backlash and abuse, for simply trying: a backlash which doubles down when there happens to be a woman speaking out her truth.

Shortlisted for the 2019 Parliamentary Book Awards (despite the anticipated backlash against its publication) and a Sunday Times Bestseller, Truth to Power is a welcome nudge to remind us that we all have the power to change things and that staying silent over imbalances is what allows those same imbalances to continue.

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