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10 Steps to Repair American Democracy Paperback – May 1, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A much-needed owner's manual for the citizen-owners of government in the United States." -- Michael Lind, author,

"Anyone concerned about the state of our democratic system should read this book." -- Trevor Potter, former chairman, Federal Elections Commission

"Practical and insightful...an inspiring blueprint for reclaiming America. Read it, roll up your sleeves, and get to work." -- Arianna Huffington, author,

"We are fortunate to have Steven Hill's latest book to help us find our political compass." -- Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker

"We know American democracy is being run over a cliff. What's a citizen to do? Here, finally, is the plan." -- Jim Hightower, author,

About the Author

Steven Hill is the former Director of the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation and co-founder of the Center for Voting and Democracy. His articles and commentaries have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, Ms., Salon.com, and American Prospect. His previous book, Fixing Elections: The Failure of America’s Winner Take All Politics, has been called by author Michael Lind “the most important book on American democracy that has come out in many years.” He has lectured widely in the United States and Europe, and has appeared on C-SPAN, Fox News, National Public Radio, and numerous radio and television programs across the nation and in Europe. In 2004, he managed the successful campaign to pass instant runoff voting for Board of Supervisors elections in San Francisco. “More recently, he also helped organize the successful effort to establish public financing for the city’s mayoral campaigns. fairvote.org newamerica.net
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976062151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976062158
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,083,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I heard Steven Hill give a talk about his new book, "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy", in Cambridge recently. In his book and in his talk, Hill promotes reforms such as instant runoff voting, proportional representation, direct election of the President, public campaign financing, free media time for candidates, and so on. His "ten steps" are:

1. Secure the Vote

2. Expand Voter Participation

3. Increase Voter Choice with Instant Runoff Voting

4. Scrap Winner-Take-All Elections

5. Direct Election of the President

6. Overhaul the U.S. Senate

7. Reclaim the Airwaves

8. Minimize Money's Role

9. Reform the Supreme Court

10. Restore Faith in Government

Obviously, each of these slogans really involves multiple steps. For example, "Secure the Vote" includes securing voter-verified recountable paper trails; impartial and professional election officials; and open-source software for electronic voting machines. "Expand Voter Participation" includes universal voter registration; making election day a holiday; and enfranchising prisoners and ex-cons. And so on down the list.

Hill puts the most emphasis on scrapping winner-take-all elections in favor of moderate proportional representation, of the type formerly used in the Illinois state legislature. In moderate proportional representation, three to five legislators are elected from geographical districts three to five times the size of those that currently exist.
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Format: Paperback
This book gave me great hope. With all the alarming politics occurring in the US today, the many ways that democracy is failing and civil liberties are threatened, it becomes difficult to keep track of it all. I sometimes feel like I have to subscribe to ten magazines, four newspapers and watch all the news shows to make any sense out of it. So it was with great relief that I read Steven Hill's new book, which first and foremost is a concise summary of the many ways American democracy is failing. But to my delight he also offers concrete solutions, with a summary of those solutions at the end of each "step"/chapter, as well as organizations to contact who are working on that specific solution. I finished reading his book feeling not only clearer on the problems, but the solutions as well. Tremendously empowering. If you are concerned about the state of democracy, pick up this wonderfully short and concise tonic for the times.
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Format: Paperback
I have become cynical about American democracy, but this book opened my eyes more than most books. The author has a knack for explaining things simply and clearly, which I find helpful because to me American democracy has become such a puzzle. Washington, DC is like a Hall of Mirrors, very hard to figure out. After reading this book, I understand better why that is, it put into place a lot of disparate observations I have and helped me to see the bigger picture, see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. And I'm so glad that he provided solutions, I get so tired of books that tell us what's wrong but never tell us how to fix the problems. For me, "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy" was a quick and easy read, and greatly illuminating.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a necessary addition to anyone seeking to make American democracy what it should be -- and what it must be if it is to survive well into the 21st century, as it's no longer optional to advance these reforms. "Repair" isn't quite the right word. Hill wants to bring American democracy to a better place than it's ever been with proposals that are at once both "common sense" and "revolutionary." That combination of words shows Hill's role in the electoral reform world (in tandem with a few innovative groups like FairVote and Hill's New America Foundation) -- a Tom Paine who boldly is willing to learn from international examples, apply those lessons to our nation with an American twist and go beyond the tepid proposals so typically espoused by our political and civic leaders. Here's a guarantee, one the publisher almost could say "or your money back": you will learn about at least one reform or reform strategy that you will be shocked that you didn't already know about. Be prepared to go through at least a few weeks (and probably years) of wanting to tell all your friends about how they can do to make our democracy work better, starting in your own community.
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Format: Paperback
Steven Hill has outlined, succinctly and clearly, a roadmap for reinvigorating American Democracy. For those of us sick of special interests and bought off politicians running our government, and for those seeking to ensure a government of, by, and for the people, Hill's book could not be more welcome. This book is lively and engaging, and a must-read for those of us seeking reform and clean government!
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Format: Paperback
If you are concerned about the future of our democracy, I would say this book is a can't miss... Hill has masterminded an insightfully succinct "how-to" guide. For the sake of our country, I hope this one makes it to the best sellers list...
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