The 2017-18 UUA Common Read

An optimistic book for Americans who are asking, in the wake of Trump’s victory, What do we do now? The answer: We need to organize and fight to protect and expand our democracy.

Product Code: 6582
ISBN: 9780807023815
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published Date: 09/26/2017
Availability:In stock
Price: $15.00

The 2017-18 UUA Common Read

With our democracy in crisis, many Americans are frightened and uncertain. So, the legendary activist Frances Moore Lappé, and organizer-scholar Adam Eichen teamed up to tell the underreported story of a “movement of movements” arising to tackle the roots of the crisis.

The authors view the Trump presidency as a symptom of a shocking anti-democracy movement and expose the events that drove us to this crisis. But their focus is on solutions: how people from all backgrounds, committed to an array of social-justice causes, are creating a canopy of hope, what Lappé and Eichen call the “democracy movement.”

To save the democracy we thought we had, argue the authors, we must take our civic life to a place it’s never been. The arising democracy movement’s innovative and inspiring strategies are enabling millions of Americans to feel part of something big, historic, and positive.

Democracy is not only possible but essential to meet the most basic human needs for power, meaning, and connection; joining the democracy movement is thus a daring and noble undertaking calling each of us.

For the free online study guide click here.

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Why We Had to Write This Book

Part I: Rethinking the Crisis

What It Will Take

Bringing Down the Thought Barriers

Part II: Exposing the Roots

Manipulating the Mindset

Rigging the Rules

Part III: Creating Solutions Together

Democracy’s Calling

Meet the Democracy Movement

Listen Up, America!
North Carolina Has a Story to Tell

The Thrill of Democracy

Dare for Democracy



“Show people that what they want is possible and they will act. This book, perhaps better than any other, shows Americans that the democracy they want is possible. Now we must act.”—Lawrence Lessig

“It is all too easy to fall into despair when observing what is happening in the world and contemplating the severe challenges that humans face. It is much harder, and far more important, to recognize that we need not succumb to what Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen call the ‘sense of futility’ that ‘destroys us,’ and can instead come together to confront the challenges, overcome them, and once again bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice and freedom. We can join the many others who are ‘daring democracy’ in many ways, as we learn from this instructive account of hopeful prospects.”—Noam Chomsky

“If you’re finding it tough to feel optimistic about the future of our democracy—and lately, who isn’t?—then you need to read this book. Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen make clear that building a positive, even joyful pro-democracy movement that restores power to ordinary Americans isn’t just possible—it’s already happening.”—Zachary Roth, author of The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy

“Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen have written a wonderfully sunny book at an exceptionally dark moment in American politics. They tell us, and I think they are right, that we are witnessing the rise of a movement of movements, and that the movement draws on reservoirs of passion and capacity embedded in our very human nature. This movement of movements that we are beginning to call ‘the Resistance’ may very well save our democracy. So you need to read this book, and join the movement!”—Frances Fox Piven

“Now, more than ever, to save our democracy, every American needs to read Daring Democracy.” —Ann Ravel, New America Fellow and former chair of the Federal Election Commission

“Extraordinarily timely. The book the Democracy Movement has been waiting for—hard-hitting and full of solutions that will enrich our lives.”—Wendy Fields, executive director of the Democracy Initiative

“In this cross-generational effort, Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen capture and explore something very important about our moment in history. Amid the serious and intrusive challenges to our democracy, there is an energetic movement to tear down barriers, advance full participation, and create a democracy that works for everyone. And that movement is creative, is winning in many places, and is bringing new people into the fold. Daring Democracy is a great and uplifting read, so grab it and enjoy!”—Miles Rapoport, Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Harvard Kennedy School and former president of Common Cause and Demos

“It is time for a daring democracy. This book is a passionate call to ‘transform fear into action.’ We should heed this message and join the movement for democracy!”—Heather Booth, organizer and president of the Midwest Academy

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