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Healing the Heart of Democracy

Palmer, Parker J.

504 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1501221566 / ISBN 13: 9781501221569
Published by Brilliance Audio, 2015
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Healing the Heart of Democracy

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: CMD

Book Condition:New

About this title


At a critical time in American life, Parker J. Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good—without the shouting, blaming, or defaming so common in our politics today.

In his newest audiobook, Parker J. Palmer builds on his own extensive experience as an inner life explorer and social change activist to examine the personal and social infrastructure of American politics. What he did for educators in The Courage to Teach he does here for citizens by looking at the dynamics of our inner lives for clues to reclaiming our civic well-being. In Healing the Heart of Democracy, he points the way to a politics rooted in the commonwealth of compassion and creativity still found among "We the People."

"Democracy," writes Palmer, "is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart—and its outcome can never be taken for granted. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart's alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy's demands."

Healing the Heart of Democracy names the "habits of the heart" we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful methods to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can help restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

From the Author:

* A Starred Review from Publishers Weekly * Palmer's...newest was six years in the making. He bravely takes on the current political climate, with its atrophy of citizen participation, the ascendance of an oligarchy that shapes politics, and the substitution of vituperation for thoughtful public discussion. It's a tall order that became even taller because Palmer had to climb out of a pit of depression -- his constitutional proclivity -- to do so. But wrestling with essential questions of public life became therapeutic, and this book provides therapy for the American body politic. Palmer's use of acute 19th-century observers of American life and character -- Tocqueville, Lincoln -- as well as his use of anecdotes and lessons from his own long career provide context and tonic. His insights are heart-deep: America gains by living with tension and differences; we can help reclaim public life by actions as simple as walking down the street instead of driving. Hope's hardly cheap, but history is made up of what Palmer calls "a million invisible acts of courage and the incremental gains that came with them." This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it. -- August 8, 2011


* We have been trying to bridge the great divides in this great country for a long time. In this book, Parker J. Palmer urges us to "keep on walking, keep on talking"--just as we did in the civil rights movement--until we cross those bridges together. -- U.S. Congressman John Lewis, recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
* The book we need for recovering the heart, the very core, of our selves and our democracy. -- Krista Tippett, host of public radio's On Being and recipient of a 2013 National Humanities Medal
* A master work by a master, a clear and uplifting resource that keeps shining light in all the dark places. Palmer is that rare, deep seer who is at home in the streets, a teacher by example who has the courage to stand openly and honestly in the public square. -- Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening and As Far As the Heart Can See

* Can we keep our sights on the vision of what we aspire to be while working constructively to transform realities that do not yet fulfill that vision? How do we remain "open hearted" so that we can engage creatively with citizens who hold different views of the challenges we face?Healing the Heart of Democracy asks these necessary questions and inspires us to answer. -- Joan Blades, co-founder of and Living Room Conversations

* A book born for this moment. Wise, evocative, and pragmatic at its core, this dream for a new politics is grounded in dignity and liberty for all. -- Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Open Space of Democracy
* In this inspiring book, I find encouragement that all of us, citizens and elected officials alike, can learn to bridge the divides that keep us from genuinely respecting one another. By sharing his own life's struggles, Palmer reveals the common struggles we all endure. He provides us with a way forward, a way forward with hope. -- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
* A gracefully written anthem to democracy [that] breaks new ground in marrying the capacity of the human heart with the tensions inherent in politics [and] breathes new life into what it means to be a citizen--accountable, compassionate, fiercely realistic. -- Peter Block and John McKnight, coauthors of The Abundant Community
* A "must read" for everyone who is concerned about the state of our democracy and has ever despaired about what can be done. Palmer's stories, plainspoken analysis, and penetrating insights will inspire you to claim your full human capacities and to take part in healing democracy "from the inside out." -- Martha L. McCoy, Executive Director, Everyday Democracy
* The most important manifesto in generations for breaking through the divisiveness that has paralyzed our democracy. -- Bill Shore, founder of Share Our Strength, author of The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men
* All who harbor concerns about American politics will find in this book a wise and kindred spirit who reminds us of choices we can make to help "reweave the tattered fabric of our civic life." You will close this book appreciating how much you can do, and how much depends on you. -- Diana Chapman Walsh, President Emerita of Wellesley College
* A courageous work that is honest and true, human and humble, glitteringly intelligent and unabashedly hopeful. Palmer gives us constructive language, historical context and a practical vision for how we as individuals and communities can get to the real heart of the matter. -- Carrie Newcomer, activist and singer-songwriter, The Geography of Light and Before and After
* Could not be more timely and needed. As one who has been guided through a time of personal reflection with Parker Palmer, I invite you to join in a journey through these chapters. -- U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps, grandmother, mother, nurse, and seeker after democracy
* A brave and visionary book. Palmer re-imagines our political lives as a deeply personal process within which all Americans--especially those of us inheriting this broken polity--have a chance to be heard, heal, and get on with the eternal work of perfecting this nation. -- Courtney E. Martin, author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists
* Palmer has been our mentor as we've weathered the rough and tumble of political life. In this compelling new book, he challenges us to recognize that a more vital democracy begins within each of us, as we learn to hold the tensions inherent in community life and no longer fear to tread that most difficult terrain--the broken places in our own hearts. -- Kathy Gille served for twenty years as a senior congressional aide. -- Doug Tanner, her husband, is a founder and former president of The Faith and Politics Institute.
* A book that should be read and talked about in every family, book club, classroom, boardroom, congregation and hall of government in our country. Palmer writes with clarity, good sense, balance, honesty, humor and humility, focusing on the essence of what is needed from each of us for the survival of our democracy. -- Thomas F. Beech, President Emeritus, the Fetzer Institute

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