Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor, the co-founders of podcast company Crooked Media and co-hosts of hit politics podcast Pod Save America, are set to publish their first book in June next year.
The illustrated non-fiction book, titled Democracy or Else: How to Save America in 10 Easy Steps, follows the former Obama aides’ successful career in podcasting, which has included numerous spin-off shows such as Pod Save The World and Pod Save The UK. The co-founders will use humour and candour to guide readers through a step-by-step journey on citizenship, talk about challenges facing the country, and provide accessible ways to implement change.
Democracy or Else is available to pre-order now and will be officially released in June 2024, ahead of the 2024 presidential election. All proceeds will go to Crooked Media’s political community platform Vote Save America, its partners, and any other organisations which are using their platforms to educate Americans on legislation and major political events.
“Politics is a slog, and it’s frustrating even on the days when a mob isn’t hunting Mitt Romney,” said Favreau, Lovett, and Vietor. “We started Pod Save America and Crooked Media to give people an outlet for their anger, to find ways to help and find humour and joy in the fight. This book has a lot of what we’ve learned from the smartest organisers and least annoying politicians, plus jokes everyone will love without exception.”
Listeners can also support Vote Save America through Crooked Media’s subscription offering ‘Friends of The Pod’, which launched this May. The ‘Best Friend’ tier costs $19.99 (£26.07), but is only open to US citizens, and includes a $10 monthly donation to Vote Save America, as well as access to a quarterly VSA political review with information on how donations are being used.
Democracy or Else is the second publication under the media company’s book division Crooked Media Reads, following the launch of Mobility in August this year by author and journalist Lydia Kiesling. Other books that will be launching under this division in 2024 and 2025 include Untitled by Buzzfeed News politics reporter Ema O'Connor and Woodworking by journalist and podcaster Emily St. James.
Crooked Media Reads is an imprint of independent publisher Zando, which signed a partnership with Crooked Media in June 2022. The deal allows the media company to acquire works of fiction and nonfiction and to develop new original projects based on Crooked Media’s existing content, with plans to publish three to six books in three years.
“We’re honoured to publish Democracy or Else. It’s both the most important guide you’ll read, and perhaps the funniest book about civic engagement out there,” said Zando CEO and founder Molly Stern. “It comes from experts, who spent years in the White House, who know policy inside-and-out, and who have been using their incredible influence to get people of all ages engaged in our democratic process, both through shows like Pod Save America and their incredible Vote Save America initiative.”
In addition to the book announcement, Crooked Media also recently expanded its leadership team ahead of the 2024 election cycle in order to grow its news coverage capacity. This includes the appointment of former senior vice president of editorial for NBC News Madeline Haeringer to executive vice president and general manager of news and programming, and the appointment of former NBC News managing editor for podcasts Reid Cherlin to executive producer for politics.