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This post is the last in our Summer Reading Group series discussing recent books on the current state of American democracy.
Jonathan Haidt. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York, NY: Random House Inc., 2012.
By Sundar Ramanujam is a 2017 graduate of the M.A. program in Democracy and Governance.
After robust discussions on racial identity and inequality in America, the focus of our last discussion of our 2017 summer book club is set on understanding polarization and divide in American society. However, unlike the previous two sittings, a slightly different academic framework has been adopted in studying this political conundrum: psychology.
This post is the second in our Summer Reading Group series discussing recent books on the current state of American democracy.
Richard Reeves. Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That is a Problem, and What to Do About It. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution Press, 2017.
By Cabell Willis ‘16
Our summer book club continues to explore the social trends underlying the current climate of American democracy with a fresh look at the problem of inequality in Richard Reeves’ new book Dream Hoarders: How the Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in The Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What To Do About It. The book draws on and synthesizes insights from a wealth of contemporary and classic scholarship on inequality to challenge the prevailing assumption that the top “one percent” of the distribution is at fault for the highly unequal allocation of wealth and income in our society. Reeves instead faults the top quintile of the income distribution, contending that they are “hoarding” opportunities for their children, thus facilitating the perpetuation and reinforcement of wealth and privilege among those that already have it. As Reeves’ puts it in the early pages of his book,
By Javier Peña, Democracy & Governance M.A. Program alumnus
This post is the first in our Summer Reading Group series discussing recent books on the current state of American democracy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me. Spiegel & Grau, 2015.
J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Harper, 2016.
One of the threats our republic faces today is the growing distance between so many of us. For a democratic republic to work, its citizens, with their elected representatives, must be able to share their beliefs and preferences, listen to one another, and then get on with the hard and necessary work of governing to advance the national interest. Yet it is becoming increasingly difficult, in no small part because we make it difficult, to truly listen to those on the other side.