In 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. Our Book club now has 483 members.
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!
Sept 15, 2022 - Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want Paperback by
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, get it from your local library but you order any way you wish.
June 9, 2022 -The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
April 14, 2022 - How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Jan 13, 2022 "Democracy in Chains" with Nancy MacLean
Oct 14, 2021 "Our Time is Now" by Stacey Abrams
May 27, 2021 "The Politics of Joy (and Sacrifice): The Fearless Walks and Historic Talks of Doris "Granny D" Haddock", a compilation of inspiring speeches given by Doris with Dennis Burke
Apr 15, 2021 "They Don't Represent Us" with Lawrence Lessig
March 4, 2021 "Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy". with David Daley
January 21, 2021 "Corporations are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations" by Jeff Clements
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.