Jeff Taylor’s book, Politics on a Human Scale, provides an essential account of the much touted but practically neglected themes of decentralization and populism in American politics. Taylor shows how the forces of centralization have consistently co-opted much of what is called conservatism and how a human scale politics is not only beneficial to human flourishing but indispensable for a free society. This book is a valuable step in fostering a better future.
(Mark T. Mitchell, professor of government, Patrick Henry College)With a vast and impressive knowledge of American political history, a skillful pen, and a generous heart, political scientist Jeff Taylor—proud son of Iowa, the Tall Corn State—explores, illuminates, and, yes, celebrates the decentralist tradition in American politics. If you want to know about our heritage of peace, agrarianism, local democracy, and the dispersion of power—that is, if you want to understand the history, personalities, and promise of the human-scale alternative to the American Empire—this is the book for you.
(Bill Kauffman, author, "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette")Madison thought the House of Representatives should have one member for every 30,000 population. Today there is one for every 720,000. By mid-century there will be one for every million. The Census Bureau predicts a billion people in America by end of the century. Professor Jeff Taylor argues that America has grown simply too large for the purposes of self government. In this comprehensive study which touches all aspects of the topic—constitutional, moral, political, and even theological—he shows how and why power should be devolved back to state and local communities.
(Donald W. Livingston, emeritus professor of philosophy, Emory University)Jeff Taylor’s Politics on a Human Scale is a comprehensive and deep ideological analysis of important changes in American political history. With numerous examples, Taylor reveals the power of elitism in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Whatever your ideological orientation, the book is an open invitation to consider the importance of a foundational American political value. It is a valuable addition to understanding American politics.
(Karl Trautman, chairperson of social science department, Central Maine Community College)The book is packed with elegantly developed historical observations and erudite observations. . . All things considered, Jeff Taylor provides the best available account of the varied ways partisan interaction and electoral competition shaped decentralism’s development and subsequent demise in America. Now that we are better positioned to comprehend how decentralism fell on hard times, and how its decline complicated the prospect for American cultural flourishing, we are empowered to make headway toward Politics on a Human Scale.
(Front Porch Republic
)With Politics on a Human Scale, the Dordt College political scientist Jeff Taylor offers a well-informed, near-encyclopedic examination of when and how America's once-dominant political tradition receded.
)This book is engagingly written, and the notes and source materials would provide the raw materials for a true conservative renaissance. ... Politics on a Human Scale is both a solid history and inspiring polemic.
About the Author
Jeff Taylor is professor of political science at Dordt College and author of Where Did the Party Go? William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy. He has written articles for, and been cited by, publications ranging from The American Conservative and LewRockwell.com to Green Horizon Quarterly and The Nation.