Citizen Democracy: Political Activists in a Cynical Age (People, Passions, and Power: Social Movements, Interest Organizations, and the P)

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9780742564466: Citizen Democracy: Political Activists in a Cynical Age (People, Passions, and Power: Social Movements, Interest Organizations, and the P)
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Apathy and antipathy toward politics are epidemic. Citizen Democracy provides the antidote. In this revised and updated edition, Stephen E. Frantzich portrays citizens from every walk of life―rich and poor, old and young, black and white, male and female, left and right, famous and obscure―as they choose to become involved in politics at a level to which readers can relate. Some of the stories contain unexpected twists. Candy Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, now works as a liquor industry lobbyist and argues that MADD has gone too far. College freshman Gregory Watson reacted to receiving a OCO on a political science paper by quitting school and becoming the driving force behind passage of a constitutional amendment that had been the subject of his paper. Two young women independently wrote letters of application to the U.S. Naval Academy and in the process moved military education in the direction of gender neutrality. Citizen Democracy shows ordinary people engaged in extraordinary civic activity. Their causes run the gamut from civil rights to flag burning, from the Internet to the environment―but their common cause is the fact that they creatively entered the arena of national public policy making and made a difference.

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About the Author:

Stephen E. Frantzich is professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Review:

In this thoughtful book, Stephen Frantzich provides concrete evidence that ordinary citizens can make a difference in public policy outcomes through a commitment to political organizing. What a timely book, one that nicely challenges the assumption of citizen apathy often imposed on our times. (Craig Rimmerman)

Offers a direct assault on fashionable distaste for politics by profiling nearly two dozen Americans who chose an issue and fought for it, achieving notable success. . . . In all his lively narratives, Frantzich recaps successful strategies readers can use to support their own causes. (Booklist)

A trove of fascinating cases can be found in this work. The book is well and cleverly written. The work is interesting and enlightening. (H-Net Reviews)

Citizen Democracy is informative in several ways. There are fascinating biographies of controvercial figures. (The Bloomsbury Review)

This volume presents a series of interesting vignettes about individuals who have made a difference in politics. It is an excellent collection of useful examples 'of relatively typical individuals who overcome cynicism to affect public well-being.' (Choice)

By telling the stories of activists of both the left and the right, Frantzich celebrates the act of political engagement and participation as a virtue in itself. Readers will learn from this book how citizen involvement, even on the part of people they may not like or with whom they disagree, nourishes democratic deliberation. This book will inspire future citizen activists while also serving as a useful 'how-to' manual. (Bill Hudson)

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9780742564459: Citizen Democracy: Political Activists in a Cynical Age (People, Passions, and Power: Social Movements, Interest Organizations, and the P)

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