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The Book

A stellar group of America’s leading political thinkers explore how to reboot our democracy

The presidential election of 2016 highlighted some long-standing flaws in American democracy and added a few new ones. Across the political spectrum, most Americans do not believe that democracy is delivering on its promises of fairness, justice, shared prosperity, or security in a changing world. The nation cannot even begin to address climate change and economic justice if it remains paralyzed by political gridlock.

“This courageous book is a timely treatment of our crisis of democracy! The variety of powerful voices and cogency of analytical viewpoints are badly needed in these grim neo-fascist times!”
Cornel West, Harvard University

Democracy Unchained is about making American democracy work to solve problems that have long impaired our system of governance. The book is the collective work of thirty of the most perceptive writers, practitioners, scientists, educators, and journalists writing today, who are committed to moving the political conversation from the present anger and angst to the positive and constructive change necessary to achieve the full promise of a durable democracy that works for everyone and protects our common future. Including essays by Yasha Mounk on populism, Chisun Lee on money and politics, Ras Baraka on building democracy from the ground up, and Bill McKibben on climate, Democracy Unchained is the articulation of faith in democracy and will be required reading for all who are working to make democracy a reality.

“This remarkable book is like speed dialing the smartest minds in America, and getting them to tackle the country’s toughest problems. It’s full of fresh and urgently needed ideas.”
Jane Mayer, chief Washington correspondent, The New Yorker

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