Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent

Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent Review

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
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Dayla

    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 pr...

  • Duff

    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...

  • Jay

    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...

  • John Willis

    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...

  • Niral

    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 ind...

  • Jay Connor

    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. Dion...

  • Kristi Richardson

    “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 e...

  • Karen Kolus

    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 d...

  • Katie

    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,...

  • Judy Alter

    Interested in this because it is praised as a truly bipartisan look at the deep political divisions in this country and a plea for a return to what the author calls the "Long Concensus," a period that...