Synopses & Reviews
Reason Foundation analysts William Eggers and John O'Leary spent two years traveling America's political frontier, taking the nation's political pulse. They heard a single message: "To forge a better society we need to make government dramatically smaller, more efficient, and closer to the people it is intended to serve." More importantly, they met many revolutionaries who are doing just that. In Revolution at the Roots,
you'll find out not just what's wrong with American government, but how Americans can fix it.
With engaging and witty style, the authors chronicle scores of exciting examples of those pushing the boundaries of radical change. You'll meet the new breed of political leaders who are shaking up the status quo, from governors such as New Jersey's Christine Todd Whitman and Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson to California's Pete Wilson. You'll also meet the big-city mayors, Democrat and Republican alike, who are standing up to entrenched interests and shrinking bureaucracies.
But it is America'speople, not her politicians, who are truly the driving force for change. You'll hear the story of James Chapman, the Indianapolis cab driver who fought City Hall -- and won. You'll learn why Sister Connie Driscoll, who runs a Chicago homeless shelter, won't accept government funds. You'll read about the gray-haired citizen volunteers who assist with San Diego's pathbreaking community policing program.
Big Government is on the way out, and something must replace it. Eggers and O'Leary lay out common-sense principles for bringing the state back to the people:
- Focus on core functions
- Devolve power to communities and individuals
- Radically decentralize
- Embrace competition
- Set limits on government growth
They go on to show how these principles can improve government's response to the major issues of our time, from crime to welfare, from education to the economy.
The future of America can be found beyond the Beltway, where fresh ideas are renewing America's great democratic experiment. The positive, practical vision of Revolution at the Roots is the road map to better government that America is searching for as it approaches the 21st century.
Governor William F. Weld, Massachusetts
William D. Eggers and John O'Leary provide a refreshing glimpse at what is right. From the state houses of Boston and Sacramento to the City Halls of Milwaukee and Indianapolis, policymakers are reshaping the fundamental role of government, returning sovereignty to the taxpayer. The revolution has indeed begun.
Mayor Michael R. White, Cleveland
This book will help make government pro-citizen once again.
Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Indianapolis
Revolution at the Roots is an excellent hands-on account of the new governance.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 363-405) and index.
About the Author
William D. Eggers directs the 21st Century Government Project and the Privatization Center at the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles. He has advised dozens of governments on the nuts-and-bolts of restructuring, and has written for The Wall Street Journal,
The Chicago Tribune
and other publications.