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A Dream Deferred : America's Search for a New Democratic Ideal - Philip Slater

A Dream Deferred

America's Search for a New Democratic Ideal

Paperback

Published: 30th September 1992
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America's Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal. Convincingly demonstrates that democratic processes, however messy and confusing, ultimately yield the most intelligent and flexible responses to a complex world.

An insightful, timely examination of the fragility of America's commitment to democracy, by cultural analyst Slater (How I Saved the World, 1985, etc.). In many ways an expansion of his classic The Pursuit of Loneliness (1970), this is powerful and provocative on its own terms. Starting with the optimistic assertion that authoritarianism is finally relinquishing its five-thousand-year choke-hold on social structures worldwide, Slater argues that the democratic spirit gaining ground elsewhere is still vigorously resisted here at home. Through systematic oppression, the encouragement of public apathy and submissiveness, the deflection of public resentment, and especially the withholding of critical information, America's founding ideals have been subverted, with the erosion clearly accelerated in the last decade, to the point where militarism and macho sensibilities have taken over in shaping the American presence in the world. Democracy is the wave of the future for Slater, however, so to him the prevailing "might makes right" sensibility in post-WW II US foreign policy, a perfect expression of the authoritarian agenda, can be viewed as a rear-guard action sure to fail when the American people awaken (or are awakened) to their civic responsibilities. Heavily indebted to the pioneering work of Mary Parker Follett in defining modern democracy, an impressive array of historical, sociological, and statistical arguments are deployed to convey the serious nature of the dilemma our culture faces, but course-corrections are provided so that the prognosis is distinctly upbeat. Persuasive, comprehensive, and precious at this historical moment. (Kirkus Reviews)

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The End of an Erap. 1
Megacultures
Why Democracy Happensp. 9
The Rise and Decline of Authoritarianismp. 23
The Warrior Mentalityp. 31
Authoritarian Survivals in American Society
Military Myopiap. 45
The Private Sectorp. 59
Learning the Ropesp. 71
Walls against Womanhoodp. 84
The Rectangular Mindp. 96
The Myths of Slaveryp. 104
The Changing Face of Godp. 115
Secretsp. 125
The Muffled Voice of Freedomp. 137
The Dictator Withinp. 150
Creative Chaos
Stumbling toward Democracyp. 167
Self-Creating Coherencep. 181
Notesp. 193
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780807043059
ISBN-10: 0807043052
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 30th September 1992
Publisher: Beacon Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.32