Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent by E.J. Dionne Jr.

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Our Divided Political Heart will be the must-read book of the 2012 election campaign. Offering an incisive analysis of how hyper-individualism is poisoning the nation's political atmosphere, E. J. Dionne Jr. argues that Americans can't agree on who we are because we can't agree on who we've been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us Americans. Dionne takes on the Tea Party's distortions of American history and shows that the true American tradition points not to radical individualism, but to a balance between our love of individualism and our devotion to community.

Dionne offers both a fascinating tour of American history—from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln and on to the Populists, the Progressives and the New Dealers—and also an analysis of our current politics that shatters conventional wisdom. The true American idea, far from endorsing government inaction or indifference, has always viewed the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness.

The ability of the American system to self-correct is its greatest asset and Dionne challenges progressives to embrace the American story. Our fractious but productive past offers us the resources both to rediscover the idea of progress and to put an end to our fears of decline. Our Divided Political Heart will be required reading for all who seek a path out of our current impasse.



Title : Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1608192016
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


Reviews


Dayla rated it ★★★★☆

August 04, 2016

Dionne does an outstanding job of debunking the myth of America's rugged individualist foundation. While he readily acknowledges the individualist inclinations of Americans from our founding to the present (see Gun Debate), he balances that element of our history with community. Beginning with th...


Duff rated it ★★★★☆

July 24, 2012

In depth discussion of the two essential elements of the American experiment: the tension between individualism and community. Seriously looks at many sides of each issue and is clear that his bias is toward the liberal/progressive...which we all know from reading his fine essays/opinion pieces....


Jay rated it ★★★★★

June 20, 2012

A literate, non-partisan discussion of the twin threads of the American fiber: individualism and community. The book is an enlightening review of the shifting interpretations of history throughout the years. While we are currently "divided" as a nation, Dionne proposes that this division need not...


John rated it ★★★★☆

October 02, 2017

I loved the author's perspective that we all need to be able to communicate across the political spectrum. Both in being able to see the positives and negatives on the side we agree with and the other side as well. Some great ideas.


Niral rated it ★★★☆☆

September 03, 2012

This book contains valuable (and copious) information on the political history of the United States. I also appreciated (and more or less agreed with) the author's main points--it's astute to make individualism/communitarianism the crucial axis of the current and ongoing debate to define what thi...


Jay rated it ★★★☆☆

August 15, 2012

If rational, balanced thought ultimately loses in the marketplace of ideas for America's future, E. J. Dionne's disappointing "Our Divided Political Heart" may serve as an object lesson into why. Dionne confronts the passion and the historical fiction excesses of the Tea Party and recent conserva...


Kristi rated it ★★★★★

March 03, 2016

“It is a peculiarity of the United States, and one particularly powerful at the moment, that our Constitution is not just honored but venerated. … Did it endure because we have chosen to live by every word, strictly interpreted or did it work because its language was elastic enough to accommodate...


Karen rated it ★★★★☆

August 01, 2012

I only understood about 60% of this book. It was super hard with long, complex sentences and lots of history I didn't really learn. Books by professors... Anyway it does explain that the root of our dilemma partially rests with Glen Beck and his incorrect portrayal of American history -- easy to...


Katie rated it ★★★★★

July 22, 2012

Dionne does an outstanding job of debunking the myth of America's rugged individualist past. While he readily acknowledges the individualist inclinations of Americans from our founding to the present, he interweaves that element of our history with its important balance: community. Beginning with...


Savannah rated it ★★★☆☆

March 02, 2016

Individual v. Community. I do wish he would write a whole book about the Tea Party and how they get history wrong. That was the main thing I took away from this book. I'm an advanced reader and had issues soaking up the words off the page. I plan on tackling this book again here soon and I still...





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