In late 2020, in some of the darkest days of the COVID pandemic, one of our Open Democracy Team members proposed an "Open Democracy Book Club." To our surprise, 300 citizens registered for the first book and discussion in January. Certainly, the pandemic gave us some time at home to read, but the hunger to learn about the problems and how to fix them was there already.
We've been fortunate in our first months to have the authors of each of our books with us via Zoom for a few minutes to help us grapple with our three guiding questions about the sad status of our Democracy:
Where are we?
How did we get here?
What do we do about it?
You'll hear these words echoed from book to book, as we all figure out what actions we can take to get our Democracy fixed and return power to the people.
Books and Discussions
We work on a new book every six weeks or so, culminating with a discussion. We have the author speak for 30 minutes, then break up into Zoom breakout rooms for small group discussions, usually facilitated by an Open Democracy staff member or volunteer.
If you didn't get to the book this month, you should still come for the author discussion and the small group discussions, which have been full of smart discussion and information.
Our Next Book!
Go HERE to RSVP for the May 27. 2021 discussion of the Politics of Joy (and Sacrifice): The Fearless Walks and Historic Talks of Doris "Granny D" Haddock. This book is available at Amazon, but we recommend you order this one directly from us, as we are the publisher of this collection of Granny D's speeches. This book was released in December 2020, and is a collection of Granny D's best and most inspiring speeches. Everyone who reads it comes away smiling and energized. An easy read at 200 pages.
How to Get the Book
While there's no cost for being a part of the Open Democracy Book Club, it's up to you to get the book. On the RSVP page for each of the events, we'll post information about the book, including the author's bio and ISBN number and other info you'll need to find it. We encourage you to order it through your local bookseller, but you order any way you wish.
Sign Up Below
We'll notify you of the new book, the date of the discussion, and sometimes discussion questions. You'll also be added to the Open Democracy Book Club email discussion, where you'll be able to ask questions and have discussions with your fellow readers.
Doris "Granny D" Haddock and 31 other people were arrested on April 21, 2000, while Granny D was reading the Declaration of Independence in the Capitol Rotunda.
"We no longer have proper representation," Ms. Haddock, the 90-year-old woman who walked across the continent for campaign finance reform, told a press conference on the Senate lawn before she led the group into the Rotunda. "Our elected leaders are consumed by the need to raise election funds from special interests, and they no longer are able to represent the needs of the people or of our ravaged earth. We must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money."
Granny D's statement at her sentencing still resonates, today.