Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontentby E. J. Dionne
Dionne places our current quarrels in the long-standing
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America today is at a political impasse; we face a nation divided and discontented. Acclaimed political commentator E.J. Dionne argues that Americans cant agree on who we are as a nation because we cant agree on who weve been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us "Americans."
Dionne places our current quarrels in the long-standing tradition of struggle between two core values: the love of individualism and our reverence for community. Both make us who we are, and to ignore either one is to distort our national character. He sees the current Tea Party as a representation of hyper-individualism, and takes on their agenda-serving distortions of history, from the Revolution to the Civil War and the constitutional role of government. Tea Partiers have reacted fiercely to President Obama, who seeks to restore a communitarian balance - a cause in American liberalism which Dionne traces through recent decades.
The ability of the American system to self-correct may be one of its greatest assets, but we have been caught in cycles of over-correcting. Dionne seeks, through an understanding of our factious past, to rediscover the idea of true progress, and the confidence that it can be achieved.
- Bloomsbury USA
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Meet the Author
E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. He graduated from Harvard, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and began his career as a reporter at the New York Times. His op-ed column is now syndicated in 141 newspapers. He appears weekly on NPR and twice-weekly on MSNBC, and is a regular contributor to NBCs Meet the Press. His writing has been published in the Atlantic, the New Republic, the American Prospect, the Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Why Americans Hate Politics, which won the Los Angeles Times book prize and was nominated for the National Book Award; as well as They Only Look Dead; Stand Up Fight Back; and, most recently, Souled Out. Dionne lives in Bethesda, Maryland with wife Mary Boyle and their three children.
E. J. Dionne Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. He appears weekly on NPR and regularly on MSNBC and NBCs Meet the Press. His twice-weekly op-ed column is now syndicated in 140 newspapers. His writing has been published in the Atlantic, the New Republic, the American Prospect, the Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Commonweal, New Statesman, and elsewhere. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books, including the classic bestseller Why Americans Hate Politics, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was nominated for the National Book Award. His most recent book is Souled Out. Dionne lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with wife, Mary Boyle, and their three children.
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Because we live in such a polarizing political landscape that constantly evokes our nation’s history as a precedent for whatever message is being delivered I believe a historical context for what government is to us and the role we want it to play in our society is essential in our ability to digest what we are being sold and determine what we really believe in. I believe that. That is why I bought this book yesterday and finished it today. To understand who we are and where we are going we must understand where we have been. I recommend this book to anyone who believes that as well. While it is a little wordy and generally critical of specifically the Tea Party movement (in the context that they evoke our Constitution for their founding principles of weakening our government) E. J. Dionne provides plenty of praise for both Republicans and Democrats as well as a critical tone for those who forget that the perhaps the key American strength we possess is compromise. The duality of what it means to be an American is that we all in our core contain both Republican and Democrat ideals and we resort to extremism at our peril. Seems to me the missing argument in our political landscape is not the case for the absolute left or the absolute right but in fact it is the case for the middle. It is that political middle ground that has fostered the greatest nation in the world and created a government of the people for the people that will mature with the people.
An insightful and detailed look at our extremely divided nation. Almost frightening in its honesty about the two sides of our political climate and how far apart they are.