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Other titles in the American Politics & Political Economy series:

Real Democracy : the New England Town Meeting and How It Works (04 Edition)

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Real Democracy : the New England Town Meeting and How It Works (04 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Relying on an astounding collection of more than three decades of firsthand research, Frank M. Bryan examines one of the purest forms of American democracy, the New England town meeting. At these meetings, usually held once a year, all eligible citizens of the town may become legislators; they meet in face-to-face assemblies, debate the issues on the agenda, and vote on them. And although these meetings are natural laboratories for democracy, very few scholars have systematically investigated them.

A nationally recognized expert on this topic, Bryan has now done just that. Studying 1,500 town meetings in his home state of Vermont, he and his students recorded a staggering amount of data about themand#8212;238,603 acts of participation by 63,140 citizens in 210 different towns. Drawing on this evidence as well as on evocative "witness" accountsand#8212;from casual observers to no lesser a light than Aleksandr Solzhenitsynand#8212;Bryan paints a vivid picture of how real democracy works. Among the many fascinating questions he explores: why attendance varies sharply with town size, how citizens resolve conflicts in open forums, and how men and women behave differently in town meetings. In the end, Bryan interprets this brand of local government to find evidence for its considerable staying power as the most authentic and meaningful form of direct democracy.

Giving us a rare glimpse into how democracy works in the real world, Bryan presents here an unorthodox and definitive book on this most cherished of American institutions.

Review:

"Frank Bryan...is arguably (and you can bet he'd enjoy arguing about it) the nation's leading scholar on town meeting democracy. What can't be argued is that he is its most passionate and eloquent promoter." New England Monthly

Synopsis:

Relying on an astounding collection of more than three decades of firsthand research, Frank M. Bryan examines one of the purest forms of American democracy, the New England town meeting. At these meetings, usually held once a year, all eligible citizens of the town may become legislators; they meet in face-to-face assemblies, debate the issues on the agenda, and vote on them. And although these meetings are natural laboratories for democracy, very few scholars have systematically investigated them.

A nationally recognized expert on this topic, Bryan has now done just that. Studying 1,500 town meetings in his home state of Vermont, he and his students recorded a staggering amount of data about them238,603 acts of participation by 63,140 citizens in 210 different towns. Drawing on this evidence as well as on evocative "witness" accountsfrom casual observers to no lesser a light than Aleksandr SolzhenitsynBryan paints a vivid picture of how real democracy works. Among the many fascinating questions he explores: why attendance varies sharply with town size, how citizens resolve conflicts in open forums, and how men and women behave differently in town meetings. In the end, Bryan interprets this brand of local government to find evidence for its considerable staying power as the most authentic and meaningful form of direct democracy.

Giving us a rare glimpse into how democracy works in the real world, Bryan presents here an unorthodox and definitive book on this most cherished of American institutions.

About the Author

Frank M. Bryan is a professor of political science at the University of Vermont. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of eleven books, including Politics in the Rural States and The Vermont Papers: Recreating Democracy on a Human Scale as well as several books of Yankee humor such as the bestseller Real Vermonters Don't Milk Goats.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Democrat

1. Introduction: The Methodology of Starting from Scratch

2. Town Meeting: An American Conversation

3. Democracy as Public Presence: Walking the Bounds

4. Attendance: The Architecture of Governance

5. Attendance: The Context of Community

6. Democracy as Public Talk: Walking the Bounds

7. Democracy as Public Talk: Exploring the Contexts

8. The Question of Equality: Women's Presence

9. The Question of Equality: Women's Participation

10. If You Build It, Let Them Play

11. The Best Democracy, the Worst Democracy

12. Conclusion: A Lovers' Quarrel

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226077970
Subtitle:
The New England Town Meeting and How It Works
Author:
Bryan, Frank M.
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago
Subject:
Practical Politics
Subject:
Local government
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
Political participation
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Government - Local
Subject:
Local government -- New England.
Subject:
Democracy - New England
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
1
Series:
American Politics and Political Economy Series
Series Volume:
v. 13.
Publication Date:
20031203
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 line drawings, 6 tables
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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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

Real Democracy : the New England Town Meeting and How It Works (04 Edition) New Trade Paper
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$20.70 In Stock
Product details 320 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226077970 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Frank Bryan...is arguably (and you can bet he'd enjoy arguing about it) the nation's leading scholar on town meeting democracy. What can't be argued is that he is its most passionate and eloquent promoter."
"Synopsis" by ,
Relying on an astounding collection of more than three decades of firsthand research, Frank M. Bryan examines one of the purest forms of American democracy, the New England town meeting. At these meetings, usually held once a year, all eligible citizens of the town may become legislators; they meet in face-to-face assemblies, debate the issues on the agenda, and vote on them. And although these meetings are natural laboratories for democracy, very few scholars have systematically investigated them.

A nationally recognized expert on this topic, Bryan has now done just that. Studying 1,500 town meetings in his home state of Vermont, he and his students recorded a staggering amount of data about them238,603 acts of participation by 63,140 citizens in 210 different towns. Drawing on this evidence as well as on evocative "witness" accountsfrom casual observers to no lesser a light than Aleksandr SolzhenitsynBryan paints a vivid picture of how real democracy works. Among the many fascinating questions he explores: why attendance varies sharply with town size, how citizens resolve conflicts in open forums, and how men and women behave differently in town meetings. In the end, Bryan interprets this brand of local government to find evidence for its considerable staying power as the most authentic and meaningful form of direct democracy.

Giving us a rare glimpse into how democracy works in the real world, Bryan presents here an unorthodox and definitive book on this most cherished of American institutions.

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