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Why I Am a Democrat Hardcover – June, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st edition (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805044140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805044140
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Democratic Party "must build from the bottom up a national party of citizens," eschewing special interests and corporate donors, declares Sorenson, a corporate lawyer and former JFK speechwriter. Though the author also urges Democrats to differentiate themselves more sharply from Republicans, this sober book is more primer than prescription, as the diplomatic author mostly avoids criticizing what many see as the ideological waffling of President Clinton or the splits within the party. Instead, mixing historical reflections with current commentary, he contends that free-market Republicans attack the poor, not poverty; that we need government, not deregulation, to solve large-scale problems; that anti-tax zealots ignore the fact that Americans pay the lowest taxes in the developed world; that affirmative action, while a "messy, imperfect solution," deserves retention; that the federal government can share power with the states without Republican-style devolution; that Republicans oppose gun control; and that isolationist Republicans oppose important international treaties and disparage the flawed but vital United Nations. Only the Democratic Party, he declares, "has the history, philosophy, diversity and constituency to become once again the Party of Conscience." That political task, however, is beyond the scope of this book.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sorensen has written an eloquently articulate definition of the historic differences between the Democratic and Republican parties' positions on topics ranging from family values to federal regulatory philosophy. To students of political science and those familiar with the parties' ideological shifts and evolutions of the last-half century, he does not reveal anything new, but to readers unaware of the traditional tenets of longstanding Democrats, this brief testament by a Kennedy-era stalwart answers a lot of questions in a highly readable style. Sorensen analyzes the Republican Congress's Contract with America and shows how he feels it shortchanges middle-class Americans and benefits wealthy and corporate America. He defines the differences between the parties' positions on social, economic, environmental, and military issues, and he recommends four ways to strengthen and focus the Democratic party to regain public confidence and popular support. For larger collections.?Jill Ortner, SILS, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Sorensen reminds each Citizen of America that we still have both the abilities and the obligations to serve our families, communities, and country. He asserts that we can do better, and we will do better. Each of us should create hope in places where there is none. We should give of ourselves, in order to grow as a nation. If there is no hope, create some! With every good wish...God Bless America Jeremy Gabriel Bourret (DEMOCRAT)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "ronfelt" on July 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to remind us young Democrats what our party has stood for and stands for. We can be proud of our heritage.
Of course this book is going to get nasty reviews from Republicans, but hey, that's why it's a good book!...
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ADP on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Like "We're Right, They're Wrong," Sorensen's book is pure pleasure for us unapologetic liberal Democrats (and there are far more of us than is generally acknowledged), reminding us why we are that. Sorensen is an eloquent writer, both principled and pragmatic, who is more respectful to his/our opposition than you would expect (but not without explaining *why* they're his opposition!) His historical background as a witness to the Kennedy years enhances his credibility. While it is short on specific facts (for that, I would recommend American Prospect Magazine, or an E. J. Dionne book), Sorensen's book is inspirational and moving, and will always have a prominent place on my shelf. What a pity that it's out of print.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gene W. Devaux on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After his election, Ronald Reagan convinced me that I was not his kind of republican. I switched parties soon after he proved himself to be in the pocket of the ultra rich. I became a Democrat and found that I was in very good company. Those Democrats that I met shared my values and concerns for average Americans. I came across Ted Sorenson's book by accident. When I sat down to read it, I found that he had spelled out for me the very reasons that I became a Democrat. I had not given much thought about why I felt so at home with the Democrats until I had read his book. The Democratic party works to improve the lives of the great majority of Americans.

I even recommended this book to a former friend who is a staunch Republican. I doubt that he ever read it even though he did borrow a copy from the public library. Unless you have an open mind, you would not enjoy this book. Since Obama was elected, my close friend has turned on me and attacked me with hateful, slanderous e-mails to other friends. Staunch Repubicans are never open minded enough to examine their opinions.

I was very fortunate to attend a meeting in Kansas City, MO that was sponsored by Truman Library. Ted Sorenson was a member of the panel that discussed the Presidency. I am proud and thankful that I was able to tell Mr. Sorenson how much I enjoyed his book. From the reaction of other attendees, they must have agreed with my comments. It makes me feel good to know that I was able to give Mr. Sorenson a verbal pat on the back before he passed away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Williams on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It would be obtuse of me to deny that this book could be construed as biased to an extent. However, Sorenson points out blatant differences between America's two primary political parties, and this is much needed in an era where people apathetically resign to the false belief that they are nearly identical.

There are books that do a better job at explaining the differences between the two parties. Being an overall good book in the genre, and Sorenson's ability of putting the ideas in an easily comprehendible format, I give it 4 stars.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has been left with a sour taste in their mouth, concerning the current political power in America(2006), and the tedious mantra of the ideologues behind it. I would also recommend this book for people in the middle of the political spectrum. Be forewarned, Republicans will only give this book a bad review.
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