Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now

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9780813341903: Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now
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Many books that purport to describe a new political philosophy seem only to provide small variations on liberalism, conservatism, socialism, or libertarianism.  Mark Satin's Radical Middle is different.  It argues that, in order to get beyond our present stalemate, we need to have the imagination (and moral courage) to listen to and learn from everyone.  It shows how we might do that in 12 policy areas, from jobs to schooling to globalization.  And it throws a spotlight on people and groups that have burst the bounds of dogmatic thinking to work for "win-win" solutions today.

Many seeds for Radical Middle's overall perspective were planted by Satin's award-winning Washington, D.C.-based international political newsletter, New Options (1984-1992), which was often referred to as "post-liberal" or "post-socialist" in orientation.  Many of Radical Middle's specific policy ideas were floated in Satin's later Washington-based political newsletter (also called Radical Middle) - and were refined though dialogue with readers from every walk of life.  The result of this 20-year journey is a book that brings special strengths to the attempt to create an inclusive political perspective as an alternative to ideological single-vision:

  • It is a popularization.  It should be accessible, even enjoyable, to any caring person;
  • It is the first truly comprehensive introduction to the radical middle political persoective, showing how domestic, economic, human-potential, and global concerns can all be addressed under the rubric of four "Key Values";
  • It is the first introduction to the radical middle political movement, covering everything from doing "good work" in the professins, to collaborative approaches to community organizng, to radical middle approaches to national political reform.  Over 50 organizastions are mentioned;
  • It is often quite personal in content and tone - as it should be, since radical middle politics comes from the heart as well as the head.
Although Washington, D.C. seems awash in partisan bickering, most Americans are pragmatic, imaginative, and incredibly resourceful - and often, in their communities and organizastions, are working out the lineaments of an innovative, genuinely American, post-ideological political philosophy.  Benjamin Franklin saw it coming.  Afer reading Radical Middle, so will you.

Radical Middle received the "Best Book Award" fot 2004 from the Section on Ecological and Transformational Politics (Section #26) of the American Political Science Asociation.

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"The next stage in American politics has to involve the 'radical middle,' as an evolutionary step beyond the scorched-earth extremes of recent Congressional and media politics.  Mark Satin builds on the growing intellectual base in this field, provided by Michael Lind, Ted Halstead, Matthew Miller, and others, with a clear and highly practical set of guidelines for more effective future politics.  This book is notable for its breadth, its fair-mindedness, and its emphasis on useful next steps.  Anyone frustrated by today's politics will be glad to have read it." - James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly;

"If there were a Nobel Prize for thinking outside the box - Mark Satin would be so honored.  Unconventional, free from ideological constraints, his probing mind opens doors to innovative thinking.  He does so with clarity and vivid writing." - Amitai Etzioni, author of From Empire to Community;

"In tone and content, Radical Middle is an antidote to the Al Frankens and Ann Coulters who dominate contemporary political discourse.  This book is an intelligent and optimistic contribution to the future of American politics." - Ted Halstead, President, New America Foundation;

"In an era of polarized politics, when politicians of every stripe drift further from the needs of real people, Mark Satin shows how a 'radical middle' is coming to redefine America.  Satin offers hope in this election year.  Put Radical Middle at the top of your must read list." - Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class;

"More fresh, interesting, and challenging ideas per page than any book I have read in years." - Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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