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The Resource If we can keep it : how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved, Michael Tomasky

If we can keep it : how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved, Michael Tomasky

Label
If we can keep it : how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved
Title
If we can keep it
Title remainder
how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved
Statement of responsibility
Michael Tomasky
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • With a title taken from Benjamin Franklin’s cautionary dictum about the fledgling U.S., Tomasky, a Daily Beast columnist, argues that, while polarization has ramped up in recent decades, it has always shaped the American experience. After the unifying presidency of George Washington, the new nation soon fractured into two factions, the strong-government–big-city coastal elites and the individualistic adventurers and frontiersmen of the rural hinterlands. The period before, during, and after the Civil War, when conflicts over slavery were both long and deep, stands out as the most divisive in the country’s history. Tomasky argues that the “Age of Consensus” brought about by Americans’ shared sacrifices during the Great Depression and WWII was a quaint aberration. That consensus frayed beginning in the 1960s, leading to the sharp social and economic dislocations the country contends with today. To right the ship of state, Tomasky proposes reforms to dial back differences to a level of “manageable polarization.” Some are feasible, such as replacing a year of college with a service year and working to end partisan gerrymandering, while others, like abolishing or reforming the Electoral College and increasing the size of the House of Representatives would be more likely to provoke new political conflicts. Tomasky’s insightful look at polarization in American life will remind readers it’s nothing new. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed 12/10/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 50, p)
  • Tomasky (Daily Beast;$SPACE$New York Times; editor, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas) turns his considerable analytical talents to an investigation of our current political situation set within an historical framework dating back to the origins of the United States. He concludes that although our nation may seem broken, it is not beyond repair, and provides a number of possible solutions to cure what he refers to as our "Age of Fracture." These include expanding the size of the House of Representatives, reconsidering the Electoral College, fighting the Senate filibuster, and limiting partisan gerrymandering. On the social front, Tomasky argues for college students to spend their first three years studying, with their fourth and final year being one of service. Moreover, the author believes that civics education should be greatly improved in order to maintain an informed society. VERDICT This timely and sophisticated analysis is recommended for all collections and nicely complements Jon Meacham's The Soul of America, which provides a similar mature assessment of modern America. --Ed Goedeken (Reviewed 02/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 1, p104)
  • /* Starred Review */ Daily Beast columnist Tomasky (Bill Clinton, 2017, etc.) confirms what we already knew—America is polarized—and masterfully charts how it always has been that way, especially at the beginning. What we are now experiencing is pure tribalism. In decades past, political quarrels often ran within party lines as much as between opposites, and historical conditions and social and institutional forces caused them to compromise. That is no longer the case. The Democratic Party is a diverse group coalition of interest groups, while the Republican Party is more of a single movement, believing mostly in smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and strong defense. The current administration has largely tossed much of what used to be known as "traditional values." The author expertly sifts through American history, citing compromises, which mostly made everyone unhappy. However, there was an era of genuine bipartisanship, roughly 1945 to 1980, when we had a national consensus and people worked together; this is what Tomasky calls an aberration of civility. Even though it was not necessarily true, people believed in the "American Way of Life." Many causal events contributed to our current political atmosphere: the religious right's sudden activism (against desegregation, among other issues); the Ronald Reagan administration's dedication to deregulation, especially of banks; Newt Gingrich's toxic attack against basic standards and norms; and the savings and loan crisis. Regarding Gingrich, Tomasky writes, "forty years later, I think it's clear that in terms of the influence he's had on conservatism and on both the discourse and practice of politics, he has been, for better or worse, the most influential Republican of his age." The worst of our polarization has likely flowed from the Bill Clinton impeachment and the 2000 election. Refreshingly, Tomasky also offers "A Fourteen-Point Agenda to Reduce Polarization," which includes a host of reasonable ideas—e.g., end gerrymandering and the Senate filibuster, eliminate the Electoral College, and, intriguingly, "reduce college to three years and make year four a service year." Read this excellent book; it's your civic duty. (Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10755169
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1960-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Tomasky, Michael
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
JK1726
LC item number
.T66 2019
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Political culture
  • Polarization (Social sciences)
  • Political participation
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved
Label
If we can keep it : how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved, Michael Tomasky
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-258) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxvii, 273 pages
Isbn
9781631494086
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2018043229
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
Label
If we can keep it : how the republic collapsed and how it might be saved, Michael Tomasky
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-258) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxvii, 273 pages
Isbn
9781631494086
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2018043229
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations

Library Locations

    • Buckhead BranchBorrow it
      269 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30305, US
      33.837616 -84.379393
    • Southeast Atlanta BranchBorrow it
      1463 Pryor Road, Atlanta, GA, 30315, US
      33.714794 -84.394275
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