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 more than 500 members!
Each time we address these three guiding questions about our democracy through the books chosen:
Where are we?
How did we get here?
What do we do about it?
Help us select Open Democracy Book Club’s 2024 selections - here!
Four times a year we read and discuss a new book. When possible, we have the author speak for 30 minutes. Then we are divided into breakout rooms for small group discussions, returning to the main group at the end to share ideas and pool resources. Everyone is welcome to participate, whether or not you have had a chance to read the book.
To Join the Book Club - Sign Up Below
You will be added to the Open Democracy Book Club email list, where members receive updates about upcoming books, guests, and discussion questions.
We recently concluded our 2023 season
In January we discussed The Scheme. As the story of Supreme Court malfeasance and ethics violations repeatedly makes front-page news, the paperback version of The Scheme comes at a time of crisis for the American judiciary.
In September, Kristin Eberhard joined us to discuss her book Becoming a Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering and our Elections.
Our June book was Carol Anderson's One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy. Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws.
In April we were thrilled to welcome bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and Emmy award-winning producer and correspondent Hedrick Smith to our book club for a discussion of his book Who Stole The American Dream?
- January 16, 2024 The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court, by Sheldon Whitehouse and Jennifer Mueller
- September 14, 2023 Becoming A Democracy, How We can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering and Our Elections by Kristin Eberhard
- June 13, 2023 One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson
- April 13, 2023 Who Stole The American Dream? Hedrick Smith
- January 17, 2023 Democracy Vouchers by Tom Latkowski
- Sept 15, 2022 Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want with Frances Moore Lappé & Adam Eichen
- 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: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Steealth Plan for America 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 with Jeff Clements
Recordings of previous book club meetings here.Sign up
Carol Shea-Porter, Chair. – former member of Congress (D-NH); politics and history teacher; founder of a non-profit social service agency
John Broderick – former Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court; former Executive Director of the Rudman Center at University of New Hampshire Law School
Brad Cook – partner and past President of Sheehan Phinney Law Firm; Chair of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission
Lew Feldstein – past President of the NH Charitable Foundation; co-author of Better Together: Restoring the American Community
Paul Hodes – former member of Congress (D-NH); attorney; member, National Council on the Arts; founder of the Economic Innovation Institute
Joe Magruder – former News Editor, Associated Press of New Hampshire
Lillye Ramos Spooner – Director of Operations for Greater Manchester AIDS Project; former member of the NH Commission on the Status of Women
Stephen Reno – Executive Director of Leadership New Hampshire; former Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire
John Rauh – former President of Americans for Campaign Reform, now part of Issue One; former Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
Jim Rubens – entrepreneur; former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate; former New Hampshire state Senator
Betty Tamposi – Assistant Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush; as a state Representative, was Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; former member of the Board of Governors of the University of New Hampshire
Dan Weeks – co-owner of ReVision Energy; former Executive Director of Open Democracy
** Affiliations listed for identification purposes only. Advisory Board members serve in their individual capacities.
Open Democracy is working to achieve political equality for all.
We envision a government accountable to the people, free from the influence of wealthy special interest groups.
With your help, we will:
1. Establish small donor, voter-owned honest elections
2. End gerrymandering and modernize voting
3. Eradicate Super PACs & neutralize Citizens United
4. Expose unlimited, anonymous Dark Money
5. Eliminate Pay-to-Play lobbyist & contractor donations
6. Enforce campaign finance laws & close loopholes
- Volunteer, or join a regional Open Democracy Team! Right now, protecting our democracy needs you to speak up, and to take action.
- Give a one-time or recurring gift to help support our mission, if you're unable to take action. This helps us organize others and expand the chorus of voices for reform! You can also mail us a check to "Coalition for Open Democracy": 4 Park Street, Suite 301, Concord, NH 03301
We welcome your questions and ideas! Please contact us anytime:
4 Park Street, Suite 301
Concord, NH 03301