Read The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government Online

Authors: Eric Liu,Nick Hanauer

Tags: #Political Science, #Political Ideologies, #Democracy, #History & Theory, #General

The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

BOOK: The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
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Table of Contents
 
Praise for
The Gardens of Democracy
 
“The Gardens of Democracy
provides a refreshing new conceptual approach to understanding our economic and political situation, and it will help us move past the fossilized ideas in today’s public debates.”
FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
,
author of
The Origins of Political Order
and Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
 
 
“In highly engaging style, Liu and Hanauer capture the revolution underway in our understanding of how economies and social systems work. They offer a provocative, inspiring vision of citizenship, democracy, and the role of government. This slender book with big ambitions deserves to be read, debated, and read again.”
ERIC BEINHOCKER
,
author of
The Origin of Wealth
 
 
“Society is a garden. Liu and Hanauer’s simple metaphor makes the complexities and limits of social policy emerge before your eyes. Statists can’t see the interconnections of organic systems. Free marketers can’t see that a garden needs some tending. If you’re looking for a way forward out of America’s dangerous gridlock, read this wonderful book.”
JONATHAN HAIDT
,
professor of psychology, University of Virginia, and author of
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
 
 
“Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer are progressives who always think outside the box, and that’s why everyone should pay attention to them.
The Gardens of Democracy
shakes up our stale debate over government’s role in a dynamic society, and in a thoughtful, creative, and inventive way. Everyone will find something to disagree with here, and that’s the point: getting us out of our comfort zones is an immensely useful democratic undertaking.”
E. J. DIONNEJR.
,
author of
Why Americans Hate Politics
 
 
“Liu and Hanauer get it right. They powerfully show how the complex, modern world requires new thinking and new policies that recognize the adaptive, mutualist nature of our economic, political, and social systems. This is a fabulous book!”
SCOTT E. PAGE
,
author of
Diversity and Complexity
and director of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan
 
 
“The great contribution of Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer in
The Gardens of Democracy
is to explain how the very categories we use to think about our political problems prevent us from understanding and solving them. They’re a scouting party venturing upriver for the rest of us, and we’d be foolish not to heed their reports.”
MICHAEL TOMASKY
,
editor,
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
 
Of Gardens and Gardeners
 
Effective gardening requires the right setting: fertile soil, good light, water.
It requires a strong view as to what should and should not be grown.
It requires a loving willingness to tend constantly, to fertilize and nurture what we seed.
It requires a hard-headed willingness to weed what does not belong.
Great gardeners would never simply “let nature take its course.” They take responsibility for their gardens.
Great gardeners assume change in weather and circumstance. They adapt.
Great gardens are sustainable only with continuous investment and renewal. Great gardeners turn the soil and rotate the plantings.
Human beings, it is said, originated in a garden. Perhaps this is why all of us understand so intuitively what it takes to be great gardeners.
I. Seeds
 
Gardenbrain vs. Machinebrain
 
The failure of our politics to keep pace with reality—The way ideology prevents adaption—New science gives us new sight about how the world works—What must follow is a new story: about self-interest, the meaning of citizenship, the nature of the economy, and the role of government—The gardens of democracy
 
 
AMERICA IS AN EXPERIMENT. It is an experiment in democracy, still the greatest the world has ever seen. But it is also, like every nation, human community, or living organism, an experiment in evolution.
One thing that has made America exceptional thus far has been its ability to adapt. From the founding onward, this nation has reckoned with its own internal contradictions and with external threats—the insufficiency of the Articles of Confederation, the poison pill of slavery, the rise of the Robber Barons, the emergence of totalitarian enemies—and it has evolved successfully in response to such circumstances.
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