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Radical Middle; The Politics We Need Now

Satin, Mark

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ISBN 10: 0813341906 / ISBN 13: 9780813341903
Published by Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 2004
Condition: Very good Hardcover
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xii, 220 pages. Index. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Black mark on bottom edge. Derived from a Kirkus review: A reformed leftist now stakes out an extreme position in the middle as he attempts to restore a lost spirit of compromise in the national discourse. Can former radical Satin and like-minded political philosophers recruit the essential blue-collar and white-collar caring persons from the resentful, surly, militant extremes? Here's another kind of public policy, not learned from Washington or Jefferson, but in the mode of Ben Franklin. As earnest as the politics of any other stripe, the bipolar radical middle purports to take the best from the left and from the right. Basic tenets would give each of us a fair start in life, more choices, a chance to maximize our potential and help develop the world too. Satin offers suggestions to solve knotty problems of health care, our legal system, petroleum dependency, education, affirmative action, unemployment, corporate clout, biotechnology, national service, economic globalization, military intervention, and terrorism. The radical middle offers a theory of everything political, with outlined rules and talking points to fix all the malaise and malevolence. It makes a lot more sense than, say, Dr. Phil or the many braying pundits at the edges of the national parties. Preacher Satin provides chapter references to texts and organizations in furtherance of the cause. A handbook that leaves lots of room for dissent from all sides. To make a utopian vision a reality, what would Poor Richard do? Mark Ivor Satin (born November 16, 1946) is an American political theorist, author, and newsletter publisher. He is best known for contributing to the development and dissemination of three political perspectives - neopacifism in the 1960s, New Age politics in the 1970s and 1980s, and radical centrism in the 1990s and 2000s. Satin's work is sometimes seen as building toward a new political ideology, and then it is often labeled "transformational", "post-liberal", or "post-Marxist". After emigrating to Canada at the age of 20 to avoid serving in the Vietnam War, Satin co-founded the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, which helped bring American war resisters to Canada. He also wrote the Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada. Satin wrote New Age Politics, which identifies an emergent "third force" in North America pursuing such goals as simple living, decentralism, and global responsibility. Satin spread his ideas by co-founding an American political organization, the New World Alliance, and by publishing an international political newsletter, New Options. He also co-drafted the foundational statement of the U.S. Green Party, "Ten Key Values". Following a period of political disillusion, Satin launched a new political newsletter and wrote a book, Radical Middle. Both projects criticized political partisanship and sought to promote mutual learning and innovative policy syntheses across social and cultural divides. In an interview. Satin has been described as "colorful" and "intense", and all his initiatives have been controversial. Bringing war resisters to Canada was opposed by many in the anti-Vietnam War movement. New Age Politics was not welcomed by many on the traditional left or right, and Radical Middle dismayed an even broader segment of the American political community. Bookseller Inventory # 74205

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Radical Middle; The Politics We Need Now

Publisher: Westview Press, Boulder, CO

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Edition: First Printing [Stated].

About this title


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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