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Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent

by

Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Our Divided Political Heart will be the must-read book of the 2012 election campaign. Offering an incisive analysis of how hyper-individualism is poisoning the nations political atmosphere, E. J. Dionne Jr. argues that Americans cant agree on who we are because we cant agree on who weve been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us Americans. Dionne takes on the Tea Partys distortions of American history and shows that the true American tradition points not to radical individualism, but to a balance between our love of individualism and our devotion to community.

Dionne offers both a fascinating tour of American history—from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln and on to the Populists, the Progressives and the New Dealers—and also an analysis of our current politics that shatters conventional wisdom. The true American idea, far from endorsing government inaction or indifference, has always viewed the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness.

The ability of the American system to self-correct is its greatest asset and Dionne challenges progressives to embrace the American story. Our fractious but productive past offers us the resources both to rediscover the idea of progress and to put an end to our fears of decline. Our Divided Political Heart will be required reading for all who seek a path out of our current impasse.

Review:

"Dionne (Why Americans Hate Politics) — Washington Post columnist, NPR commentator, and Georgetown University professor — puts on his scholarly hat to offer a much-needed fact-based review of the Constitution, a realistic portrait of its creators, and a balanced history of the ongoing friction in the American psyche between desires for liberty and commonwealth. He suggests that America has nurtured 'communitarian individualists — and individualistic communitarians,' and that 'we often treat the Founders of our country not as the gifted statesmen and politicians they are, but as religious prophets.' By accepting commitments to individualism and community, he argues, we can see government as a constructive force, an approach 'far more consistent with the Founders' intentions and the broad trajectory of our history than are the alternatives promoted by the Tea Party and its allies that cast government as inherently oppressive, necessarily wasteful, and... damaging to... growth and prosperity.' The book clarifies much misinformation swirling around controversies about the founding fathers, the validity of originalism, and the traditional and historic roles of government and the free market in U.S. society. Despite its sometimes academic tone, Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

One of America's most respected and well-known political analysts weighs in on what is tearing us apart --the ascendency of individualism and the diminishment of community — just in time for the election.

Synopsis:

"Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument."-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

"Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument."-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Who are we as a nation? And what is it that's tearing us apart? In Our Divided Political Heart, E. J. Dionne Jr., one of our most respected political commentators, argues that Americans can't agree on who we are because we can't agree on who we've been. The American tradition, Dionne says, points not to radical self-reliance and self-interest, but to a balance between our love of individual freedom and our devotion to community.With a deep understanding of our nation's past, Dionne crafts an incisive analysis of how hyper-individualism is poisoning our current political atmosphere. He shares the Tea Party's engagement with the American past, but takes on its distortions of our history while rooting the Occupy Wall Street movement in America's civic and Populist traditions.

Dionne offers both a fascinating tour of American history-from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln, on to Populism, the Progressives, and the New Dealers-and an interpretation of our moment's politics that shatters conventional wisdom. He reclaims the American idea of the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness. And he challenges progressives to embrace their country's story-to redefine progress and to put an end to our fears of decline.
Our Divided Political Heart is indispensable for all who seek a path out of America's current impasse.

Synopsis:

America today is at a political impasse; we face a nation divided and discontented. Acclaimed political commentator E.J. Dionne argues that Americans can't agree on who we are as a nation because we can't agree on who we've been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us "Americans."

Dionne places our current quarrels in the long-standing tradition of struggle between two core values: the love of individualism and our reverence for community. Both make us who we are, and to ignore either one is to distort our national character. He sees the current Tea Party as a representation of hyper-individualism, and takes on their agenda-serving distortions of history, from the Revolution to the Civil War and the constitutional role of government. Tea Partiers have reacted fiercely to President Obama, who seeks to restore a communitarian balance - a cause in American liberalism which Dionne traces through recent decades.

The ability of the American system to self-correct may be one of its greatest assets, but we have been caught in cycles of over-correcting. Dionne seeks, through an understanding of our factious past, to rediscover the idea of true progress, and the confidence that it can be achieved.

About the Author

E. J. Dionne Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. He appears weekly on NPR and regularly on MSNBC and NBC's Meet the Press. His twice-weekly op-ed column is now syndicated in 140 newspapers. His writing has been published in the Atlantic, the New Republic, the American Prospect, the Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Commonweal, New Statesman, and elsewhere. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books, including the classic bestseller Why Americans Hate Politics, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was nominated for the National Book Award. His most recent book is Souled Out. Dionne lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with wife, Mary Boyle, and their three children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608192014
Author:
Dionne, E J
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Dionne, E. J., Jr.
Author:
Smiley, Scott P.
Author:
E. J. Dionne
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
N/A
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent Used Hardcover
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$18.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608192014 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dionne (Why Americans Hate Politics) — Washington Post columnist, NPR commentator, and Georgetown University professor — puts on his scholarly hat to offer a much-needed fact-based review of the Constitution, a realistic portrait of its creators, and a balanced history of the ongoing friction in the American psyche between desires for liberty and commonwealth. He suggests that America has nurtured 'communitarian individualists — and individualistic communitarians,' and that 'we often treat the Founders of our country not as the gifted statesmen and politicians they are, but as religious prophets.' By accepting commitments to individualism and community, he argues, we can see government as a constructive force, an approach 'far more consistent with the Founders' intentions and the broad trajectory of our history than are the alternatives promoted by the Tea Party and its allies that cast government as inherently oppressive, necessarily wasteful, and... damaging to... growth and prosperity.' The book clarifies much misinformation swirling around controversies about the founding fathers, the validity of originalism, and the traditional and historic roles of government and the free market in U.S. society. Despite its sometimes academic tone, Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

One of America's most respected and well-known political analysts weighs in on what is tearing us apart --the ascendency of individualism and the diminishment of community — just in time for the election.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument."-Publishers Weekly
"Synopsis" by ,
"Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument."-Publishers Weekly
"Synopsis" by ,
Who are we as a nation? And what is it that's tearing us apart? In Our Divided Political Heart, E. J. Dionne Jr., one of our most respected political commentators, argues that Americans can't agree on who we are because we can't agree on who we've been. The American tradition, Dionne says, points not to radical self-reliance and self-interest, but to a balance between our love of individual freedom and our devotion to community.With a deep understanding of our nation's past, Dionne crafts an incisive analysis of how hyper-individualism is poisoning our current political atmosphere. He shares the Tea Party's engagement with the American past, but takes on its distortions of our history while rooting the Occupy Wall Street movement in America's civic and Populist traditions.

Dionne offers both a fascinating tour of American history-from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln, on to Populism, the Progressives, and the New Dealers-and an interpretation of our moment's politics that shatters conventional wisdom. He reclaims the American idea of the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness. And he challenges progressives to embrace their country's story-to redefine progress and to put an end to our fears of decline.
Our Divided Political Heart is indispensable for all who seek a path out of America's current impasse.
"Synopsis" by ,
America today is at a political impasse; we face a nation divided and discontented. Acclaimed political commentator E.J. Dionne argues that Americans can't agree on who we are as a nation because we can't agree on who we've been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us "Americans."

Dionne places our current quarrels in the long-standing tradition of struggle between two core values: the love of individualism and our reverence for community. Both make us who we are, and to ignore either one is to distort our national character. He sees the current Tea Party as a representation of hyper-individualism, and takes on their agenda-serving distortions of history, from the Revolution to the Civil War and the constitutional role of government. Tea Partiers have reacted fiercely to President Obama, who seeks to restore a communitarian balance - a cause in American liberalism which Dionne traces through recent decades.

The ability of the American system to self-correct may be one of its greatest assets, but we have been caught in cycles of over-correcting. Dionne seeks, through an understanding of our factious past, to rediscover the idea of true progress, and the confidence that it can be achieved.

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