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Community and the Politics of Place


Community and the Politics of Place Cover

ISBN13: 9780806124773
ISBN10: 0806124776
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation of citizens deeply involved in public life. Today Americans are lamenting the erosion of his ideal. What happened in the intervening centuries? Daniel Kemmis argues that our loss of capacity for public life (which impedes our ability to resolve crucial issues) parallels our loss of a sense of place. A renewed sense of inhabitation, he maintains —of community rooted in place and of people dwelling in that place in a practiced way—can shape politics into a more cooperative and more humanly satisfying enterprise, producing better people, better communities, and better places.

The author emphasizes the importance of place by analyzing problems and possibilities of public life in a particular place— those northern states whose settlement marked the end of the old frontier. National efforts to “keep citizens apart” by encouraging them to develop open country and rely upon impersonal, procedural methods for public problems have bred stalemate, frustration, and alienation. As alternatives he suggests how western patterns of inhabitation might engender a more cooperative, face-to-face practice of public life.

Community and the Politics of Place also examines our ambivalence about the relationship between cities and rural areas and about the role of corporations in public life. The book offers new insight into the relationship between politics and economics and addresses the question of whether the nation-state is an appropriate entity for the practice of either discipline. The author draws upon the growing literature of civic republicanism for both a language and a vantage point from which to address problems in American public life, but he criticizes that literature for its failure to consider place.

Though its focus on a single region lends concreteness to its discussions, Community and the Politics of Place promotes a better understanding of the quality of public life today in all regions of the United States.


"An insightful case study in the politics of community ....Kemmis argues that it is through the politics of place that people have a chance to discover their power as citizens". — Choice.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-145) and index.

About the Author

Daniel Kemmis, a senior fellow at the Northern Light Research and Education Institute (Missoula, Montana), is a former minority leader and speaker of the Montana House of Representatives and is presently the mayor of Missoula.

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Terril Shorb, May 5, 2012 (view all comments by Terril Shorb)
This is an excellent book because it is well written and is told through firsthand experience when Daniel Kemmis was mayor of Missoula, Montana. It shows how citizens and local government can work together with corporate interests to move forward on conservation issues that affect community health. And by health I (and Mr. Kemmis) mean the overall health of the ecosystems which sustain the human community. I use this book as a valuable reference in college courses that I teach at Prescott College where I founded and direct the Sustainable Community Development program.
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Product Details

Kemmis, Daniel
University of Oklahoma Press
Norman :
Government and political science
Public Affairs & Administration
Human beings
Political culture
Geographical perception
West (U.S.) Economic policy.
Human beings -- Effect of environment on -- West (U.S.) -- History.
Political Process - General
Civics & Citizenship
General Political Science
Politics-United States Politics
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 7
Publication Date:
8.52x5.43x.50 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Community and the Politics of Place Used Trade Paper
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$8.50 In Stock
Product details 160 pages University of Oklahoma Press - English 9780806124773 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "An insightful case study in the politics of community ....Kemmis argues that it is through the politics of place that people have a chance to discover their power as citizens". — Choice.
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