Healing the Heart of Democracy

The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

By Parker J. Palmer
(Jossey-Bass, Hardcover, 9780470590805, 256pp.)

Publication Date: September 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description
At a critical time in American life, Parker J. Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good -- without the shouting, blaming, or defaming so common in our politics today. In his newest book, Parker J. Palmer builds on his own extensive experience as an inner life explorer and social change activist to examine the personal and social infrastructure of American politics. What he did for educators in The Courage to Teach he does here for citizens by looking at the dynamics of our inner lives for clues to reclaiming our civic well-being. In Healing the Heart of Democracy, he points the way to a politics rooted in the commonwealth of compassion and creativity still found among "We the People." "Democracy," writes Palmer, "is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart -- and its outcome can never be taken for granted. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart's alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy's demands." Healing the Heart of Democracy names the "habits of the heart" we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful methods to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can help us restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
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