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Other titles in the Future of American Democracy series:
Does American Democracy Still Work? (Future of American Democracy)by Alan Wolfe
Synopses & Reviews
The past few decades have brought a shift in the nature of American democracy—an alarming shift that threatens such liberal democratic values as respect for pluralism, acceptance of the separation of powers, and recognition of the rights of opposition parties. In this insightful book, political scientist Alan Wolfe identifies the current political conditions that endanger the quality of our democracy. He describes how politics has changed, and he calls for a democracy protection movement designed to preserve our political traditions not unlike the environmental protection movements efforts to safeguard the natural world.
Voters who know little about issues, leaders who bend rules with little fear of reprisal, and political parties that are losing the ability to mobilize citizens have all contributed to a worrisome new politics of democracy, Wolfe argues. He offers a brilliant analysis of how religion and morality have replaced political and economic self-interest as guiding principles, and how a dangerous populism promotes a radical form of elitism. Without laying blame on one party or ideology and without claiming that matters will improve with one party or the other in office, Wolfe instead suggests that Americans need to understand the danger their own indifference poses and take political matters more seriously.
About the Author
Alan Wolfe is professor of political science and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, Boston College. He is author of more than fifteen books and is a contributing editor of The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. He lives in Brookline, MA.
"Wolfe is the most interesting public intellectual in the country. His disturbing book provides rich food for thought about the future of our polity."-Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
(James T. Patterson)
"Alan Wolfe has written a terse, highly critical book on the ways that American democracy works-and does not work. Above all, he urges that Americans become more politically engaged."-James T. Patterson, Brown University
"Alan Wolfe is an important scholar of American society as well as a major public intellectual. He is incapable of writing a dull or irrelevant book."-William Galston, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies Program, Brookings Institution
"Alan Wolfe argues that while the extent of American democracy has increased greatly, its quality has declined notably in recent decades. His book, Does American Democracy Still Work?, will be widely read, ardently debated, and highly influential."-Martin Shefter, Cornell University
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