Open Democracy Book Club They Don't Represent Us

The next meeting of the Open Democracy Book Club will be April 15, 2021 at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time.  We continue to focus on the theme:  Where are we, how did we get here, and what are we going to do about it?"

The book we chose is Lawrence Lessig's They Don't Represent Us.

America’s democracy is in crisis. Along many dimensions, a single flaw—unrepresentativeness—has detached our government from the people. And as a people, our fractured partisanship and ignorance on critical issues drive our leaders to stake out ever more extreme positions.

In They Don’t Represent Us, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig charts the way in which the fundamental institutions of our democracy, including our media, respond to narrow interests rather than to the needs and wishes of the nation’s citizenry. But the blame does not only lie with “them”—Washington’s politicians and power brokers, Lessig argues. The problem is also “us.” “We the people” are increasingly uninformed about the issues, while ubiquitous political polling exacerbates the problem, reflecting and normalizing our ignorance and feeding it back into the system as representative of our will.

What we need, Lessig contends, is a series of reforms, from governmental institutions to the public itself, including:

  • A move immediately to public campaign funding, leading to more representative candidates
  • A reformed Electoral College, that gives the President a reason to represent America as a whole
  • A federal standard to end partisan gerrymandering in the states 
  • A radically reformed Senate
  • A federal penalty on states that don’t secure to their people an equal freedom to vote
  • Institutions that empower the people to speak in an informed and deliberative way

A soul-searching and incisive examination of our failing political culture, this nonpartisan call to arms speaks to every citizen, offering a far-reaching platform for reform that could save our democracy and make it work for all of us.

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. 

Ordering information:

They Don't Represent Us, by Lawrence Lessig

ISBN: 9780062945716

Audiobook ISBN: 9781094027944

Harper Collins website.

Available through your independent bookseller:

Toadstool Bookstores in Keene & Peterborough,  Gibson's Bookstore in Concord and Water St. Bookstore in Exeter.

WHEN
April 15, 2021 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
WHERE
Online via Zoom
59 RSVPS
Bob Perry Patricia Seybold corinne Dodge Michele Caskey janet ward Joanne Emus Brady Watson Esther Turner Katherine Thorndike Kenneth Chestek ken barnes Beth Ann Vaughn Stephen Crilly Jennifer Fajman Liz Tentarelli Susan Muller Harriet DiCicco Sean Lewis Sandy Swinburne Hilliare Wilder Georges Brun-Cottan Beverly Gaye Scofield Carolyn Knott Bill Brown Jeffrey Dickler Sandy Corona Emily Cowan Pat Waterman Winston Apple Judy Shivack Diane Wolfe Susan Richman Ellen Kupfer M K Stephen Heppe Ann Garland Alfrieda Englund Sue Nastasi Kate Coon Jim Serrell Rick Hubbard Gregg Watling John Sonin Chris Wheeler Catherine Munson George Penn Edda Spielmann Ann Shea

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  • Bev Cotton
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:12 -0400
  • David Andrews
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  • George Penn
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  • Rick Hubbard
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  • Kate Coon
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  • Stephen Heppe
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  • Susan Richman
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  • Winston Apple
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  • Sandy Corona
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  • Jeffrey Dickler
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  • Susan Muller
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  • Liz Tentarelli
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:12 -0400
  • Jennifer Fajman
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:12 -0400
  • ken barnes
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  • Kenneth Chestek
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:12 -0400
  • Esther Turner
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:11 -0400
  • janet ward
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:11 -0400
  • Michele Caskey
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:11 -0400
  • Patricia Seybold
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:11 -0400
  • Bob Perry
    attended. 2021-04-16 10:49:11 -0400
  • Bob Perry
    rsvped 2021-04-15 19:02:38 -0400
  • Patricia Seybold
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  • corinne Dodge
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  • Michele Caskey
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  • janet ward
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  • Joanne Emus
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  • Brady Watson
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  • Esther Turner
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  • Katherine Thorndike
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  • Kenneth Chestek
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