E.J. Dionne Jr.
Our Divided Political Heart:
The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent
co-sponsored by The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy
July 3, 2012
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy are delighted to welcome renowned journalist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution E.J. DIONNE JR. for a discussion of his new book, Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent.
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.
"This is a brilliant book about America's current political divide. But more importantly, it's an insightful exploration of our nation's history and our ability to balance individualism with community. That sense of balance has been lost, and this book shows how we can restore a shared appreciation for our historic values." —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin
"E. J. Dionne is the thoughtful conservative’s favorite liberal, and the liberal all the rest of us learn from. Our Divided Political Heart is at once a grand arc of American thought from the nation’s founding, and an up-to-the-minute diagnosis of the weird and sudden turn we’ve taken in left-right relations. With malice toward none, Dionne nevertheless sounds the alarm about the new threat to the "long consensus" that’s been key to our stability and our national greatness. A thrilling book, from one of America’s most universally respected minds. You should buy it." —Rachel Maddow, Author of Drift
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