The Secret Lives of Citizens (Paperback)

Pursuing the Promise of American Life

By Thomas Geoghegan

University of Chicago Press, 9780226287645, 251pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2000



In this witty combination of memoir and observation, Thomas Geoghegan addresses the widespread cynicism about our government and explores what it means to be a "national" civil servant and a "local" citizen.

"This is unlike any public-policy book I've ever read: part Catcher in the Rye, part The Road to Wigan Pier, part The Federalist Papers, it is mesmerizing, rueful, painfully honest, and never, ever dull."-Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test

"Extraordinary. It has the essential trait of a memorable book, in that after reading it you look at daily life in a lastingly different way." -James Fallows, author of Breaking the News

" Geoghegan] has written a book that is not only compelling to read but that provokes us to seriously reflect on the choices we make and how we spend our time." -Jonathan Coleman, Washington Post Book World

"Geoghegan's language is playful. . . . Personal reminiscence mixing with historical anecdote, dipping into complex themes . . . shifting from wistful nostalgia to dark comedy." -Robert B. Reich, New York Times Book Review

"A truly strange and wonderful book." - William Finnegan.

About the Author

Thomas Geoghegan is a labor lawyer in Chicago and recently authored "In America's Court."