Synopses & Reviews
Bill Moyers on America today:
“Here in the first decade of the twenty-first century the story that becomes Americas dominant narrative will shape our collective imagination and our politics for a long time to come. In the searching of our souls demanded by this challenge . . . kindred spirits across the nation must confront the most fundamental liberal failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibilitythe gift we have received and the legacy we must bequeath.
“Although our sojourn in life is brief, we are on a great journey. For those who came before us and for those who follow, our moral, political, and religious duty to make sure that this nation, which was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are equal under the law, is in good hands on our watch.”
from “For Americas Sake”
People know Bill Moyers mostly from his many years of path-breaking journalism on television. But he is also one of Americas most sought-after public speakers. His appearances draw sell-out crowds across the country and are among the most reproduced on the Web. “And one reason,” writes noted journalist Bill McKibben, “is that Moyers pulls no punches. His understanding of Americas history is at least as deep as his understanding of Christian tradition, which is an integral part of his background . . . With his feet firmly planted in the deepest American traditions, Bill Moyers is helping to keep alive an oratorical tradition that is fading after two centuries. Trained by his career in broadcasting, he writes for the ear, his cadences and his repetitions timed to bring an audience to full realization of its role and its power.”
And that is the message of this book. Moyers on Democracy collects many of Bill Moyerss most moving statements to connect the dots on what is happening to our countrythe twinned growth of private wealth and public squalor, the assault on our Constitution, the undermining of the electoral process, the accelerating class war against ordinary (and vulnerable) Americans inherent in the growth of economic inequality, the dangers of an imperial executive, the attack on the independence of the press, the despoiling of the earth we share as our common giftand to rekindle the readers conviction that “the gravediggers of democracy will not have the last word.” Richly insightful and alive with a fierce, abiding love for our country, Moyers on Democracy is essential reading in this fateful presidential year.
"Veteran journalist and author Moyers (Moyers on America, The Power of Myth) staunchly attacks conservative government as one of 'millions of Americans who are restless to get on with their revolution.' In this volume-a collection of speeches, addresses, talks and lectures from as far back as the '80s-Moyers argues that participatory citizenship breathes life into American democracy, and whatever undermines active citizenship threatens to destroy the system. Moyers reminds readers that the U.S. stands 'on the shoulders of brave ghosts,' and challenges them to treat, with courage, the country's socio-political ills. The author provides illustrative portraits of dear friends like Fred Friendly and Hubert Humphrey, positioning himself among passionate journalists and left-leaning politicians. Some may recoil from his lobbyist outrage (they 'hide... behind the flag while ripping off a country in crisis'), but his long-lived devotion to the American ideal of self-governance, on the whole, guides him well. His insight, sweeping political and historical expertise, and unflinching defense of his ideals should captivate both scholars and concerned citizens, though it's more likely to appeal to those already on Moyers's wavelength." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bill Moyers is fighting mad about the betrayal of our best democratic ideals by the Bush administration, and in this book he delivers a crucial message about America’s need to reconnect with our constitutional ideals and rich history of reform as we prepare for the 2008 presidential race.
In this collection of blisteringly eloquent speeches on the state of our nation, timely topics addressed include the proper place of religion in public life; the mounting environmental crisis; the struggle to keep public television and radio free of political manipulation and ideological censorship; the appalling culture of corruption and influence-peddling that has nearly highjacked Washington; the heedless, disastrous policies of the Bush administration in Iraq and many other areas.
Collected, these speeches prove definitively that Bill Moyers is our Indispensable Man and our political conscience.
About the Author
BILL MOYERS was a founding organizer of the Peace Corps, a senior White House assistant (and press secretary) to President Lyndon Johnson from 1963 until 1967, publisher of Newsday, senior news analyst for CBS News, and producer of many of public televisions groundbreaking series. He is the winner of more than thirty Emmy awards and nine Peabody awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television, the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, and the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. Among his bestselling books are Listening to America, A World of Ideas, The Power of Myth (with Joseph Campbell), and Moyers on America. He serves as the pro-bono president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy.