The Republic of Conscience (Paperback)

By Gary Hart

Blue Rider Press, 9780399575938, 240pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (6/30/2015)

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Former Senator Gary Hart’s The Republic of Conscience is a meditation on the growing gap between the founding principles of the United States Constitution and our current political landscape.

Going back as early as 400 BC, the idea of a true republic has been threatened by narrow, special interests taking precedence over the commonwealth. The United States Constitution was drafted to protect against such corruption, but as Gary Hart details in The Republic of Conscience, America is nowhere near the republic it set out to be almost 250 years ago, falling to the very misconduct it hoped to avoid.
In his latest book, the former Colorado Senator and presidential contender describes ‘the increasing gap between purpose and performance’ in America, emphasizing how the sense of national interest has become distorted and diluted over time. Focusing on the years after World War II, Hart tackles major American institutions—the military, the CIA, Congress—and outlines how these establishments have led the country away from its founding principles, not closer to them.
Full of original and incisive analysis, The Republic of Conscience is Hart’s examination and remedy for the millions of Americans who feel jaded, confused, and disappointed by their current government. A testament to Hart’s political faith in the founding fathers, this book is one citizen’s attempt to recapture the Republic, and a timely reminder for the next July 4th holiday.

About the Author

Gary Hart is an American politician and a former Colorado senator, serving in Congress from 1975 to 1987. Since retiring from the Senate, Hart resumed his private law practice and has written several books on U.S. history and politics. In 2014, President Barack Obama named Hart as the new United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.

Praise For The Republic of Conscience

“Gary Hart’s The Republic of Conscience is a thought-provoking analysis of modern American democracy and how powerful special interests have impacted our national security and civil society. It’s a must-read from one of the brightest minds of his generation.”
—Senator John McCain
“Gary Hart may be out of office but he’ s not out of ideas. This provocative analysis is a welcome addition to the national dialogue that should take place in both parties, the news media  and the electorate as we head into another presidential election with a political system so broken it is shameful.”
—Tom Brokaw
This is a passionate and powerful plea for us Americans to recover the democratic-republican principles of the founders, a plea that is made all the more effective by the book’s clear and forceful prose. The idealism that runs through the book is not utopian; it is firmly grounded in the extensive civic experience of the author and in his clear-eyed appreciation of the realities of our twenty-first century world. It’s a very persuasive book.
—Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University

A self-proclaimed "political fundamentalist" and staunch proponent for the reformation of the "massively corrupt" congressional structure, [Hart] intelligently appraises government first from a historical context, referencing the Constitution, the ideals of past presidents, Federalists, and even foreign theorists like Machiavelli. He contrasts this with an astute discussion on the decline in moral authority of 21st-century governmental policy and procedure, and he places blame on the country's foreign entanglements, its accepted "burden of policing the world," deteriorating social justice, and an imbalance of security and liberty—none of which our pragmatic forebears ever intended. Hart is insistent that the only way to improve our governmental track record is to restrategize with progressive thinking, the reconciliation of current political policies, and a divergence from the concentrated economic powers that have such an undue influence on members of Congress and other politicians … Hart's impassioned plea for reform seeks to empower political compatriots to rethink the direction of U.S. governance, thus closing "the gap between promise and performance." A proactive appeal to restore confidence in the American republic. --Kirkus