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Democracy's Edge. Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2213223
  • Book
  • April 2012
  • 492 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Three out of five Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, feel our country is headed in the wrong direction. America is at the edge, a critical place at which we can either renew and revitalize or give in and lose that most precious American ideal--democracy--and along with it the freedom, fairness, and opportunities it assures. Democracy's Edge is a rousing battle cry that we can--and must--act now. From Jefferson to Eisenhower, presidents from both parties have warned us of the danger of letting a closed, narrow group of business and government officials concentrate power over our lives. Yet today, a small and unrepresentative group of people is making vital decisions for all of us.

But this crisis is only a symptom, Lappé argues. It's a symptom of thin democracy, something done to us or for us, not by or with us. Such democracy is always at risk of being stolen by private interests or extremist groups, left and right. But there is a solution. The answer, says Lappé, is Living Democracy, a powerful yet often invisible citizens' revolution surging in communities across America. It's not random, disjointed activism but the emergence of a new historical stage of democracy in which Americans realize that democracy isn't something we have but something we do. Either we live it or lose it, says Lappé.
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Acknowledgments ix

The Path xi

PART ONE Living on Democracy's Edge 1
Our journey to the edge and the forces making possible an invisible revolution of hope

1. The Frame 3

2. The Long Arc 13

3. Power Is Not a Four-Letter Word 29

PART TWO Democracy Growing Up 49
Outgrowing four beliefs that stymie us and discovering that power, even corporate power, isn’t so stuck after all

4. Our Coat 51

5. The Elephant 77

PART THREE Democracy as a Verb 109
It's not what we have, it’s what we do. Americans seize the rewards of self-direction

6. Attention 111

7. Action 151

8. Choice 183

9. Voice 219

PART FOUR Democracy in Our Bones 249
Americans create a culture of empowered, connected people

10. Learning 251

11. Security 277

12. The Invitation 309

Two Frames for Democracy 319

Toward a Language of Democracy 321

Notes 325

Entry Points for Living Democracy 405

The Author 451

Index 453

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Frances Moore Lappe
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