Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

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John Wiley & Sons, Jul 31, 2014 - Political Science - 320 pages
Hope for American democracy in an era of deep divisions

In Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmer quickens our instinct to seek the common good and gives us the tools to do it. This timely, courageous and practical work—intensely personal as well as political—is not about them, "those people" in Washington D.C., or in our state capitals, on whom we blame our political problems. It's about us, "We the People," and what we can do in everyday settings like families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations and workplaces to resist divide-and-conquer politics and restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

In the same compelling, inspiring prose that has made him a bestselling author, Palmer explores five "habits of the heart" that can help us restore democracy's foundations as we nurture them in ourselves and each other:

  • An understanding that we are all in this together
  • An appreciation of the value of "otherness"
  • An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways
  • A sense of personal voice and agency
  • A capacity to create community

Healing the Heart of Democracy is an eloquent and empowering call for "We the People" to reclaim our democracy. The online journal Democracy & Education called it "one of the most important books of the early 21st Century." And Publishers Weekly, in a Starred Review, said "This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it."


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User Review  - kaulsu - LibraryThing

I was disappointed. Parker doesn't truly seem to want to heal anything as much as he wants everyone to buy into a liberal point of view. I was hoping to find a way to talk to "those others" on the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JerryColonna - LibraryThing

I love Parker Palmer. I love everything I've read by him (and, as many folks know, I especially love his Let Your Life Speak). This book is different. And yet it's also part of a deeper theme...what ... Read full review


Classrooms and Congregations
Safe Spacefor Deep Democracy
From Trust to Political Power
The Unwritten Historyof the Heart
Notes Gratitudes
Democracys Ecosystem Chapter II Confessions of anAccidental Citizen

The Loom of Democracy Learning to Hold Tension Creatively
Life in the Company of Strangers
Safe Space for Deep Democracy
The Discussion Guide Authors

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About the author (2014)

PARKER J. PALMER, whose books have sold over a million copies, holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and eleven honorary doctorates. In 2011, the Utne Reader named him one of twenty-five “People Who Are Changing Your World.” He is Founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal.

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