Of the People
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|Author||: Abraham Lincoln,Peter C. Vermilyea,G. S. Boritt,Jakob B. Boritt,Deborah R. Huso|
|Editor||: Columbia University Press|
-- Thomas F. Schwartz, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Lincoln Herald
|Author||: Andrew Whitby|
|Editor||: Basic Books|
This fascinating three-thousand-year history of the census traces the making of the modern survey and explores its political power in the age of big data and surveillance. In April 2020, the United States will embark on what has been called "the largest peacetime mobilization in American history": the decennial population census. It is part of a tradition of counting people that goes back at least three millennia and now spans the globe. In The Sum of the People, data scientist Andrew Whitby traces the remarkable history of the census, from ancient China and the Roman Empire, through revolutionary America and Nazi-occupied Europe, to the steps of the Supreme Court. Marvels of democracy, instruments of exclusion, and, at worst, tools of tyranny and genocide, censuses have always profoundly shaped the societies we've built. Today, as we struggle to resist the creep of mass surveillance, the traditional census -- direct and transparent -- may offer the seeds of an alternative.
|Author||: Hahrie Han,Elizabeth McKenna,Michelle Oyakawa|
|Editor||: University of Chicago Press|
Grassroots organizing and collective action have always been fundamental to American democracy but have been burgeoning since the 2016 election, as people struggle to make their voices heard in this moment of societal upheaval. Unfortunately much of that action has not had the kind of impact participants might want, especially among movements representing the poor and marginalized who often have the most at stake when it comes to rights and equality. Yet, some instances of collective action have succeeded. What’s the difference between a movement that wins victories for its constituents, and one that fails? What are the factors that make collective action powerful? Prisms of the People addresses those questions and more. Using data from six movement organizations—including a coalition that organized a 104-day protest in Phoenix in 2010 and another that helped restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated in Virginia—Hahrie Han, Elizabeth McKenna, and Michelle Oyakawa show that the power of successful movements most often is rooted in their ability to act as “prisms of the people,” turning participation into political power just as prisms transform white light into rainbows. Understanding the organizational design choices that shape the people, their leaders, and their strategies can help us understand how grassroots groups achieve their goals. Linking strong scholarship to a deep understanding of the needs and outlook of activists, Prisms of the People is the perfect book for our moment—for understanding what’s happening and propelling it forward.
|Author||: Yascha Mounk|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy--individual rights and the popular will--are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time left to waste.
|Author||: Thomas Frank|
|Editor||: Metropolitan Books|
From the prophetic author of the now-classic What’s the Matter with Kansas? and Listen, Liberal, an eye-opening account of populism, the most important—and misunderstood—movement of our time. Rarely does a work of history contain startling implications for the present, but in The People, No Thomas Frank pulls off that explosive effect by showing us that everything we think we know about populism is wrong. Today “populism” is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake. The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of American democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Taking us from the tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing Populist Party—the biggest mass movement in American history—fought Gilded Age plutocrats to the reformers’ great triumphs under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Frank reminds us how much we owe to the populist ethos. Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns. The anti-populist vituperations by the Washington centrists of today are only the latest expression. Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement’s provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism. The People, No is a ringing affirmation of a movement that, Frank shows us, is not the problem of our times, but the solution for what ails us.
|Author||: Eric Klinenberg|
|Editor||: Broadway Books|
An eminent sociologist and bestselling author offers an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding a fractured society. "Comprehensive, entertaining, and compellingÉ"--Jon Stewart. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice.s' Choice.
|Author||: Howard Zinn|
In this Second Edition of this radical social history of America from Columbus to the present, Howard Zinn includes substantial coverage of the Carter, Reagan and Bush years and an Afterword on the Clinton presidency. Its commitment and vigorous style mean it will be compelling reading for under-graduate and post-graduate students and scholars in American social history and American studies, as well as the general reader.
|Author||: Jeffrey Edward Green|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press on Demand|
For centuries it has been assumed that democracy must refer to the empowerment of the People's voice. In this pioneering book, Jeffrey Edward Green makes the case for considering the People as an ocular entity rather than a vocal one. Green argues that it is both possible and desirable to understand democracy in terms of what the People gets to see instead of the traditional focus on what it gets to say.The Eyes of the People examines democracy from the perspective of everyday citizens in their everyday lives. While it is customary to understand the citizen as a decision-maker, in fact most citizens rarely engage in decision-making and do not even have clear views on most political issues. The ordinary citizen is not a decision-maker but a spectator who watches and listens to the select few empowered to decide. Grounded on this everyday phenomenon of spectatorship, The Eyes of the People constructs a democratic theory applicable to the way democracy is actually experienced by most people most of the time.In approaching democracy from the perspective of the People's eyes, Green rediscovers and rehabilitates a forgotten "plebiscitarian" alternative within the history of democratic thought. Building off the contributions of a wide range of thinkers-including Aristotle, Shakespeare, Benjamin Constant, Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, and many others-Green outlines a novel democratic paradigm centered on empowering the People's gaze through forcing politicians to appear in public under conditions they do not fully control.The Eyes of the People is at once a sweeping overview of the state of democratic theory and a call to rethink the meaning of democracy within the sociological and technological conditions of the twenty-first century.
|Author||: Jan-Werner Muller|
|Editor||: University of Pennsylvania Press|
Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chávez—populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing. In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner Müller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. Müller also shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of their claim to exclusive moral representation of the people: if populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper "people." The book proposes a number of concrete strategies for how liberal democrats should best deal with populists and, in particular, how to counter their claims to speak exclusively for "the silent majority" or "the real people." Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time.
|Author||: Kevin Bleyer|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
The United States Constitution promised a More Perfect Union. It’s a shame no one bothered to write a more perfect Constitution—one that didn’t trigger more than two centuries of arguments about what the darn thing actually says. Until now. Perfection is at hand. A new, improved Constitution is here. And you are holding it. But first, some historical context: In the eighteenth century, a lawyer named James Madison gathered his friends in Philadelphia and, over four long months, wrote four short pages: the Constitution of the United States of America. Not bad. In the nineteenth century, a president named Abraham Lincoln freed an entire people from the flaws in that Constitution by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Pretty impressive. And in the twentieth century, a doctor at the Bethesda Naval Hospital delivered a baby—but not just any baby. Because in the twenty-first century, that baby would become a man, that man would become a patriot, and that patriot would rescue a country . . . by single-handedly rewriting that Constitution. Why? We think of our Constitution as the painstakingly designed blueprint drawn up by, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, an “assembly of demigods” who laid the foundation for the sturdiest republic ever created. The truth is, it was no blueprint at all but an Etch A Sketch, a haphazard series of blunders, shaken clean and redrawn countless times during a summer of petty debates, drunken ramblings, and desperate compromise—as much the product of an “assembly of demigods” as a confederacy of dunces. No wonder George Washington wished it “had been made more perfect.” No wonder Benjamin Franklin stomached it only “with all its faults.” The Constitution they wrote is a hot mess. For starters, it doesn’t mention slavery, or democracy, or even Facebook; it plays favorites among the states; it has typos, smudges, and misspellings; and its Preamble, its most famous passage, was written by a man with a peg leg. Which, if you think about it, gives our Constitution hardly a leg to stand on. [Pause for laughter.] Now stop laughing. Because you hold in your hands no mere book, but the most important document of our time. Its creator, Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer, paid every price, bore every burden, and saved every receipt in his quest to assure the salvation of our nation’s founding charter. He flew to Greece, the birthplace of democracy. He bused to Philly, the home of independence. He went toe-to-toe (face-to-face) with Scalia. He added nightly confabs with James Madison to his daily consultations with Jon Stewart. He tracked down not one but two John Hancocks—to make his version twice as official. He even read the Constitution of the United States. So prepare yourselves, fellow patriots, for the most significant literary event of the twenty-first, twentieth, nineteenth, and latter part of the eighteenth centuries. Me the People won’t just form a More Perfect Union. It will save America. Praise for Me the People “I would rather read a constitution written by Kevin Bleyer than by the sharpest minds in the country.”—Jon Stewart “Bleyer takes a red pencil to democracy’s most hallowed laundry list. . . . Uproarious and fascinating.”—Reader’s Digest “I knew James Madison. James Madison was a friend of mine. Mr. Bleyer, you are no James Madison. But you sure are a heck of a lot more fun.”—Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Team of Rivals
|Author||: Nadia Urbinati|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
Populism suddenly is everywhere, and everywhere misunderstood. Nadia Urbinati argues that populism should be regarded as government based on an unmediated relationship between the leader and those defined as the “good” or “right” people. Mingling history, theory, and current affairs, Urbinati illuminates populism’s tense relation to democracy.
|Author||: Moshe Halbertal|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
Halbertal provides a panoramic survey of Jewish attitudes toward Scripture, provocatively organized around problems of normative and formative authority, with an emphasis on the changing status and functions of Mishnah, Talmud, and Kabbalah.
|Author||: Michael A. Neblo,Kevin M. Esterling,David M. J. Lazer|
|Editor||: Cambridge University Press|
Ideal for scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students of democratic theory and political behavior, while engaging for policy makers and concerned citizens. Politics with the People develops and tests a new model of politics - 'directly representative democracy' - connecting citizens and officials to improve representative government.
|Author||: Larry Krasner|
|Editor||: One World|
Philadelphia’s progressive district attorney offers an inspiring vision of how people can take back power to reform criminal justice, based on lessons from a life’s work as an advocate for the accused. “Larry Krasner is at the forefront of a movement to disrupt a system. This is a story that needs to be read by millions.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy Larry Krasner spent thirty years learning about America’s carceral system as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, working to get some kind of justice for his clients in a broken system, before deciding that the way to truly transform the system was to get inside of it. So he launched an unlikely campaign to become the district attorney of Philadelphia, a city known for its long line of notorious “tough on crime” DAs who had turned Philly into a city with one of the highest rates of incarceration in the country. Despite long odds and derisive opposition from the police union and other forces of the status quo, Krasner laid out a simple case for radical reform and won the November 2017 general election by a margin of nearly 50 percent. For the People is not just a story about Krasner’s remarkable early life as a defense lawyer and his innovative grassroots campaign; it’s also a larger exploration of how power and injustice conspired to create a carceral state unprecedented in the world. Readers follow Krasner’s lifelong journey through the streets and courtrooms and election precincts of one American city all the way up to his swearing-in ceremony to see how our system of injustice was built—and how we might dismantle it. In the tradition of powerful critiques of the criminal justice system, from Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, For the People makes the compelling case that transforming criminal justice is the most important civil rights movement of our time and can only be achieved if we’re willing to fight for the power to make a change.
|Author||: J. Patrick Boyer|
A mood of anger with the political system has been stirring across Canada; yet rather than turning away from the system, many Canadians are actually seeking a greater say in matters that affect them. they want to become more effective participants in the political process. In this timely book, Patrick Boyer examines the important role that direct democracy — through the occasional use of referendums, plebiscites, and initiatives — can play in concert with our existing institutions of representative democracy. This concept is not alien to our country, says Boyer, pointing to the two national plebiscites (on prohibition of alcohol in 1898 and conscription for overseas military service in 1942), some sixty provincial plebiscites (on everything from sovereignty-association to abortion, medicare to women’s suffrage, prohibition to ownership of power companies), and several thousand at the municipal level. Direct voting is an important instrument in a truly democratic society, Boyer argues, and it has a more important role in the current reformation of Canada than some in the comfortable growing governing classes want to admit. In addition to clarifying an issue, it is an educational tool, as the plebiscite campaign becomes a national teach-in. Canadians can become participants, rather than mere spectators, in the major changes and transcending issues that affect the future of our country. The People’s Mandate is a helpful guide to understanding the distinctions between plebiscites and referendums in a purely Canadian context. It addresses some of the concerns about this unparliamentary practice, and makes a powerful and logical statement about democracy. In sum, Boyer believes it is essential to govern with the trust of the people.
|Author||: James S. Fishkin|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
Philosopher and political scientist James Fishkin evaluates modern democratic practices, explains how the voice of the people has struggled to make itself heard in the past and combines a review of ideas and experiments--including his own idea for a National Issues Convention that was adapted by PBS in January 1996--to legitimately rediscover the people's voice.
|Author||: Jessa Lingel|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
How craigslist champions openness, democracy, and other vanishing principles of the early web Begun by Craig Newmark as an e-mail to some friends about cool events happening around San Francisco, craigslist is now the leading classifieds service on the planet. It is also a throwback to the early internet. The website has barely seen an upgrade since it launched in 1996. There are no banner ads. The company doesn't profit off your data. An Internet for the People explores how people use craigslist to buy and sell, find work, and find love—and reveals why craigslist is becoming a lonely outpost in an increasingly corporatized web. Drawing on interviews with craigslist insiders and ordinary users, Jessa Lingel looks at the site's history and values, showing how it has mostly stayed the same while the web around it has become more commercial and far less open. She examines craigslist's legal history, describing the company's courtroom battles over issues of freedom of expression and data privacy, and explains the importance of locality in the social relationships fostered by the site. More than an online garage sale, job board, or dating site, craigslist holds vital lessons for the rest of the web. It is a website that values user privacy over profits, ease of use over slick design, and an ethos of the early web that might just hold the key to a more open, transparent, and democratic internet.
|Author||: Geraldine Brooks|
|Editor||: HarperCollins UK|
A novel from the author of ‘March’ and ‘Year of Wonders’ takes place in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, as a young book conservator arrives in Sarajevo to restore a lost treasure.
|Author||: James S. Fishkin|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
All over the world democratic reforms have brought power to the people - but under conditions where the people have little opportunity to think about the power that they exercise. Do we want a democracy inspired by Madison or by Madison Avenue? A democracy animated by deliberation or bymanipulation? This book examines each of the principal democratic theories and makes the case for a democracy in which the people offer informed judgments about politics or policy. It then goes on to show how this form of democracy can be made a reality. When the People Speak describes deliberativedemocracy projects conducted by the author with various collaborators in the US, China, Britain, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, and in the entire European Union. These projects have resulted in the massive expansion of wind power in Texas, the building of sewage treatmentplants in China, the crafting of budget solutions in a region in Italy, and greater mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Critics of deliberative democracy say that it will privilege the more educated or that the public is incompetent when it comes tounderstanding policy issues, and should not be consulted. Others argue that it will increase polarization. Fishkin offers rebuttals for each of these arguments. Combining theory and practice he shows how a more deliberative politics is both practical and compelling.
|Author||: Lakeyta M. Bonnette|
|Editor||: University of Pennsylvania Press|
Hip-Hop music encompasses an extraordinarily diverse range of approaches to politics. Some rap and Hip-Hop artists engage directly with elections and social justice organizations; others may use their platform to call out discrimination, poverty, sexism, racism, police brutality, and other social ills. In Pulse of the People, Lakeyta M. Bonnette illustrates the ways rap music serves as a vehicle for the expression and advancement of the political thoughts of urban Blacks, a population frequently marginalized in American society and alienated from electoral politics. Pulse of the People lays a foundation for the study of political rap music and public opinion research and demonstrates ways in which political attitudes asserted in the music have been transformed into direct action and behavior of constituents. Bonnette examines the history of rap music and its relationship to and extension from other cultural and political vehicles in Black America, presenting criteria for identifying the specific subgenre of music that is political rap. She complements the statistics of rap music exposure with lyrical analysis of rap songs that espouse Black Nationalist and Black Feminist attitudes. Touching on a number of critical moments in American racial politics—including the 2008 and 2012 elections and the cases of the Jena 6, Troy Davis, and Trayvon Martin—Pulse of the People makes a compelling case for the influence of rap music in the political arena and greatly expands our understanding of the ways political ideologies and public opinion are formed.