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They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era

Overview

E. J. Dionne not only challenges the conventional wisdom that America is moving to the right but also offers a more promising way forward. Prophetic and inspiring, They Only Look Dead forecast the changes in American politics before they happened and instantly altered the debate. Dionne brilliantly pinpoints the four crises shaking American politics and how they affect people's jobs, living standards, family lives, and attitudes toward the future. In a new preface and afterword, Dionne shows how a progressive, ...
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Overview

E. J. Dionne not only challenges the conventional wisdom that America is moving to the right but also offers a more promising way forward. Prophetic and inspiring, They Only Look Dead forecast the changes in American politics before they happened and instantly altered the debate. Dionne brilliantly pinpoints the four crises shaking American politics and how they affect people's jobs, living standards, family lives, and attitudes toward the future. In a new preface and afterword, Dionne shows how a progressive, reform-minded political movement is the answer to our prevailing discontent.

Following his brilliant and witty Why Americans Hate Politics, Dionne once again goes against the grain to demonstrate that the Democrats' failures do not add up to Republican dominance. Dionne contends that the GOP's laissez-faire approach is no answer to the frustrations of an electorate that, while skeptical of bureaucracies, still wants a government that governs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite the title, this book is less a contrarian projection of the future than a savvy if incomplete analysis of our current political landscape. Washington Post columnist Dionne (Why Americans Hate Politics) suggests that our current political chaos derives from multiple crises-of economics, politics, morality and our national purpose-with interesting parallels to upheavals the country faced in the late 19th century, culminating in the first Progressive era. And the ``Anxious Middle''-the swing group in elections-is pandered to, says the author, by both parties. He goes on to suggest that President Clinton, even without his gaffes, would have faced intractable divisions within his party, that Newt Gingrich represents a new breed of technology-oriented conservatism and that journalism must adapt to promote a more serious level of debate. Dionne argues quite plausibly that the new conservatism will fail because it ``seeks to define away'' the problems we face, yet his vision of a new Progressivism ignores some practical steps, such as a move away from identity politics, that must presage such change. Author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The author of Why Americans Hate Politics (LJ 4/1/91) wants to know why the Democrats hate themselves so much that they brought about the Republican victory through their own failure to govern.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684827001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/20/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,422,230
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

E. J. Dionne, Jr., is a bestselling author, a syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Washington Post and nearly a hundred other newspapers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University. His Why Americans Hate Politics won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a nominee for the National Book Award. He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and on other radio and television programs. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mary Boyle, and their three children.

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Table of Contents

Preface: The Coming of the Second Progressive Era 9
Pt. 1 The Problem
1 Why Politicians Don't Get Respect Anymore: The Politics of Moral Annihilation 19
2 Politicians Adrift: The Four Crises of American Politics 34
3 The Politics of the Anxious Middle: From Republican Disaster to Democratic Calamity 66
Pt. 2 The Players
4 The Clinton Experiment: The Democrats' Hopes and Nightmares 93
5 The Failure of Reform: Health, Welfare and the Political Education of Bill Clinton 118
6 Reinventing Old Answers: The Republicans' Quiet Revolution 151
7 Why Gingrich Happened: Old Waves, New Waves and Third Waves 197
8 No News Is Good News: Why Americans Hate the Press 231
Pt. 3 The Purpose
9 Showdown: The Republican Challenge and the Progressive Promise 265
Afterword: Back from the Dead: American Politics After 1996 315
Notes 339
Acknowledgments 359
Index 363
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