Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Publish Date
6.2 X 8.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College and an expert on American political and economic history. She is the author of seven books, including the award-winning How the South Won the Civil War. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. Her widely read newsletter, Letters from an American, synthesizes history and modern political issues.


"[Democracy Awakening] is the most lucid just-so story for Trump's rise I've ever heard. It's magisterial." -Virginia Heffernan, Washington Post

"Heather Cox Richardson's Democracy Awakening is an important addition to the burgeoning literature and scholarship on what I have characterized as America's Third Reconstruction...she is at her best simply telling us the story of how we came to be living on the brink of ending our nearly 250-year democratic experiment."
-Peniel Joseph, Democracy

"A fresh historical interpretation of American democracy and its many challenges...It's an unusual but effective structure, allowing Richardson to do what she does best: show her readers how history and the present are in constant conversation. Reminding us that 'how it comes out our own hands, ' Richardson empowers us for the chapters yet to come."
--Kirkus *Starred Review*

"Engaging and highly accessible."--Boston Globe

"This is a vibrant, and essential history of America's unending, enraging and utterly compelling struggle since its founding to live up to its own best ideals. From yesterday's enslavers to today's authoritarians, it shows how bad actors have always tried to twist history to serve their own purposes, but again and again, less powerful challengers have risen and often won. It's both a cause for hope, and a call to arms."
--Jane Mayer, author Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

"With her characteristic powerful prose, Heather Richardson explores the raging (in every sense of the word) political, cultural, and social forces that an elite minority has fostered to divide Americans, erode democracy, and rise to power. By reclaiming this history, she reminds us that democracy is a process, not an endpoint -- and that it demands our efforts now, more than ever."
--Joanne Freeman, Professor of History at Yale University and author of Field of Blood

"No one understands the warp and woof of the complicated tapestry that is the United States, no one apprehends the undertow and disparate forces that have directed the tides of American politics, no one forges the connections between then and now better than Heather Cox Richardson does. The result is a cogent, challenging, thoughtful, riveting and beautiful narrative. Brava!"
--Ken Burns, Filmmaker

"For the last several turbulent years, millions have looked to Heather Cox Richardson's daily letters for vital historical perspective, wisdom, and moral clarity. In Democracy Awakening, Richardson goes beyond the news cycle to explain how we got here, placing our current political crisis against the age-old struggle to expand civil rights and economic opportunity. What emerges is a brilliant and honest account of our nation's past and present. If you care about American democracy--and are engaged in the fight to preserve it--this book is a must-read."
--Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York