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Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America - Paperback

$32.00

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America - Paperback - Balance of Power

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America - Paperback

$32.00

A New York Times Bestseller - The Washington Post's "50 Best NonFiction Books of 2023" - Kirkus Review's "2023 Best NonFiction Books of the Year"

From historian and author of the popular daily newsletter LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN, a vital narrative that explains how America, once a beacon of democracy, now teeters on the brink of autocracy -- and how we can turn back.

“For the last several turbulent years, millions have looked to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily letters for vital historical perspective, wisdom, and moral clarity. In Democracy Awakening, Richardson goes beyond the news cycle to explain how we got here, placing our current political crisis against the age-old struggle to expand civil rights and economic opportunity. What emerges is a brilliant and honest account of our nation’s past and present. If you care about American democracy—and are engaged in the fight to preserve it—this book is a must-read." - Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

“This is a vibrant, and essential history of America's unending, enraging and utterly compelling struggle since its founding to live up to its own best ideals. From yesterday's enslavers to today's authoritarians, it shows how bad actors have always tried to twist history to serve their own purposes, but again and again, less powerful challengers have risen and often won. It's both a cause for hope, and a call to arms." - Jane Mayer, author Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

“Necessary U.S. history ... an excellent primer for anyone who needs the important facts of the last 150 years of American history – and how they got us to the sorry place we inhabit today.”– Guardian US

In the midst of the impeachment crisis of 2019, Heather Cox Richardson launched a daily Facebook essay providing the historical background of the daily torrent of news. The essays soon turned into a newsletter and, spread by word of mouth, its readership ballooned to more than 2 million dedicated readers who rely on its plainspoken and informed take on the present and past in America.

In Democracy Awakening, Richardson crafts a compelling and original narrative, explaining how, over the decades, a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals. By weaponizing language and promoting false history they have led us into authoritarianism -- creating a disaffected population and then promising to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. She argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation's true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld. Their dedication to the principles on which this nation was founded has enabled us to renew and expand our commitment to democracy in the past. Richardson sees this history as a roadmap for the nation's future.

Richardson's unique talent is to wrangle our giant, meandering, confusing news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to, what the historical roots and precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead. Writing in her trademark calm prose, she manages to be both realistic and optimistic about the future of democracy. Richardson's easy command of history allows her to pivot effortlessly from the Founders to the abolitionists to Reconstruction to Goldwater to Mitch McConnell, highlighting the political legacies of the New Deal, the lingering fears of socialism, the death of the liberal consensus and birth of "movement conservatism."

There are many books that tell us what has happened over the last five years. Democracy Awakening explains how we got to this perilous point, what our history really tells us about ourselves, and what the future of democracy can be.

Author Biography

Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College. She has written about the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the American West in award-winning books whose subjects stretch from the European settlement of the North American continent to the history of the Republican Party through the Trump administration. She writes widely, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. She is the cohost of the Vox podcast, Now & Then.

Number of Pages: 432
Publication date: September 26, 2023
Dimensions: 1 x 9.1 x 5.9 IN

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