Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

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by Parker J. Palmer
     
 

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A book of hope for "We the People"

In Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmer quickens our instinct to seek the common good, proposing practical ways to bridge our political divides. In this intensely personal as well as political book, Palmer explores five "habits of the heart" that can be developed in everyday settings like families,

Overview

A book of hope for "We the People"

In Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmer quickens our instinct to seek the common good, proposing practical ways to bridge our political divides. In this intensely personal as well as political book, Palmer explores five "habits of the heart" that can be developed in everyday settings like families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations and workplaces to help restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people":

  • An understanding that we are all in this together
  • An appreciation of the value of "otherness"
  • An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways
  • A sense of personal voice and agency
  • A capacity to create community

This book—enriched by a Discussion Guide and online video interviews with the author—is an eloquent and empowering call for "We the People" to reclaim our unity in an era of divide and conquer politics. Democracy & Education called it "one of the most important books of the early 21st Century." Publishers Weekly, in a Starred Review, said "This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it."

"We have been trying to bridge the great divides in this great country for a long time. Parker J. Palmer urges us to ‘keep on walking, keep on talking'—just as we did in the civil rights movement—until we cross those bridges together." —U.S. Congressman John Lewis, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Palmer’s (Let Your Life Speak) newest was six years in the making. He bravely takes on the current political climate, with its atrophy of citizen participation, the ascendance of an oligarchy that shapes politics, and the substitution of vituperation for thoughtful public discussion. It’s a tall order that became even taller because Palmer had to climb out of a pit of depression—a personal vulnerability proclivity—to do so. But wrestling with essential questions of public life became therapeutic, and this book provides therapy for the American body politic. Palmer’s use of acute 19th-century observers of American life and character—Tocqueville, Lincoln—as well as his use of anecdotes and lessons from his own long career provide context and tonic. His insights are heart-deep: America gains by living with tension and differences; we can help reclaim public life by actions as simple as walking down the street instead of driving. Hope’s hardly cheap, but history is made up of what Palmer calls “a million invisible acts of courage and the incremental gains that came with them.” This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"He bravely takes on the current political climate, and this book provides therapy for the American body politic. His insights are heart-deep: America gains by living with tension and differences; we can help reclaim public life by actions as simple as walking down the street instead of driving. Hope's hardly cheap, but history is made up of what Palmer calls 'a million invisible acts of courage and the incremental gains that came with them.' This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it." (Publishers Weekly, 8 August 2011)

"Healing the Heart of Democracy is a hopeful book that lifts up and hallows the heart as a source of inner sight. Inspired by the efforts to understand and undergird democracy by Abraham Lincoln, Alexis de Tocqueville, Rosa Parks, and others; the author sends us on our way rejoicing with the small portion of hope that he has planted in our minds and souls." (Spirituality & Practice)

"There is a deep and disturbing cloud hanging over the United States. It is a malaise that is leading to cynicism and self-centeredness. The antidote is to be found in the healing of the heart of our democracy, so that we might emerge from this private focus to a public one, which recognizes our interdependence. I know of no better guide to discerning the problem and the solutions, than this book by Parker Palmer. It is a prophetic book, one that needs to be taken with all due seriousness, if we are to emerge from our malaise stronger and healthier than before." (Englewood Review of Books, 2011)

"[Palmer] has been constantly on the move intellectually and spiritually, a kind of Socratic gadfly in American life... [His] politics is not the politics of despair or...of inevitable progress, but...of people trying to live better lives as they attempt to work together for a better society." (Christian Century)

"I recommend this book to absolutely everyone–on any side of the political spectrum, and especially to folks like me, who were standing aside, wringing their hands and wishing for a better democracy." (Beliefnet.com)

"If you're looking for a way to reclaim the best of democracy to shape our nation's future, this is a book worth spending some time with." (The Cap Times)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118907504
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/25/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
131,180
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Videos

Meet the Author

Parker J. Palmer's writing speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. Author of nine books—including the bestsellers The Courage to Teach, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness—Palmer is the founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His work has been recognized with ten honorary doctorates and many national awards, including the 2010 William Rainey Harper Award, previously won by Margaret Mead, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel.

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