Who Will Tell The People: The Betrayal Of American Democracy

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Simon and Schuster, May 11, 2010 - Political Science - 464 pages
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Who Will Tell the People is a passionate, eye-opening challenge to American democracy. Here is a tough-minded exploration of why we're in trouble, starting with the basic issues of who gets heard, who gets ignored, and why. Greider shows us the realities of power in Washington today, uncovering the hidden relationships that link politicians with corporations and the rich, and that subvert the needs of ordinary citizens.

How do we put meaning back into public life? Greider shares the stories of some citizens who have managed to crack Washington's "Grand Bazaar" of influence peddling as he reveals the structures designed to thwart them. Without naiveté or cynicism, Greider shows us how the system can still be made to work for the people, and delineates the lines of battle in the struggle to save democracy. By showing us the reality of how the political decisions that shape our lives are made, William Greider explains how we can begin to take control once more.
 

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Contents

Mutual Contempt
11
PART ONE REALITIES OF POWER
33
Mock Democracy
35
WeilKept Secrets
60
Bait and Switch
79
The Grand Bazaar
105
Hollow Laws
123
The Fixers
141
PART THREE MEDIATING VOICES
243
Who Owns the Democrats?
245
Rancid Populism
270
Angle of Vision
287
The Lost Generation
307
Citizen GE
331
Crackpot Realism
359
The Closet Dictator
377

PART TWO HOW MAY THE PEOPLE SPEAK TO POWER?
159
The Politics of Rude and Crude
161
Political Orphans
183
Class Conflict
202
Democratic Promise
222
The American Moment
405
Notes
417
Acknowledgments
447
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Page 23 - Would you say the government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all the people?
Page 24 - I think the companies will have to give in only at insignificant levels. Because the companies are too strong, they're the establishment. The environmentalists are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania before they prevail.
Page 11 - The substantive meaning of self-government has been hollowed out. What exists behind the formal shell is a systemic breakdown of the shared civic values we call democracy.

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About the author (2010)

William Greider is the bestselling author of five previous books, including One World, Ready or Not (on the global economy), Who Will Tell the People (on American politics), and Secrets of the Temple (on the Federal Reserve). A reporter for forty years, he has written for The Washington Post and Rolling Stone and has been an on-air correspondent for six Frontline documentaries on PBS. Currently the national affairs correspondent for The Nation, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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