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Moyers on Democracy Paperback – May 5, 2009
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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People know Bill Moyers from his many years of path-breaking journalism on television. But he is also one of America's most sought-after public speakers. In this collection of speeches, Moyers celebrates the promise of American democracy and offers a passionate defense of its principles of fairness and justice. Moyers on Democracy takes on crucial issues such as economic inequality, our broken electoral process, our weakened independent press, and the despoiling of the earth we share as our common gift.
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Tags democracy, politics, religion, civil rights, speeches
This is a collection of Moyer's speeches over many years that touch on the subject of democracy. If I could, I'd give a copy to everyone in the world to read. Forget Nicholas Cage movies, Bill Moyers is THE National Treasure.
Mr. Moyers probably doesn't believe in reincarnation - though he would respect my right to do so - but I think in one of his previous lives he must have been a bard, and in another one of those court jesters who was the only person to tell the king the truth. For he has both the journalistic integrity to be dedicated to finding the truth and to sharing it with the public. The speech he gave on Hubert Humphrey is one of the best pieces of writing, fiction or non-fiction, I've ever read in my life, and many of the other pieces are of similar quality.
It is hard to give a sense of the book, because it wanders many places in talking about democracy. There are obituaries here, to such people as Barbara Jordan, William Sloane Coffin, and Fred Friendly. There is a commencement address. Issues of media, politics, and religion are discussed. And always, Moyers gives us history, often history of the relatively unknown and their struggles to be free. It is an inspirational book, one that sets the mind alight to preserve and restore freedom and its handmaiden, responsibility.
Publication Doubleday (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Publication date 2008
ISBN 0385523807 / 9780385523806
Moyers is an eloquent voice of that conscience, a clear and positive contrast to narcissist negative nagging typified by Rush Limbaugh. Nags are always pessimistic; conscience encourges one to be better. In the best of times, as in the worst of times, Americans share an optimism they can improve themselves and their society.
Nags have a purpose, if you like "boss others around" attitudes.
Conscience is a small quiet voice of personal responsibility, challenge and constructive incentives. America is a land of boundless excess; after the ruin of the Civil War, it took only 40 years to become the world's richest and most powerful nation. Andrew Carnegie typified the success of excess; he created a dynamic modern steel industry, then the world's finest public library system.
Moyers made his early contributions in politics. Instead of acquiring a personal fortune, he became a founder of the Peace Corps, one of the lasting elements of American compassion. He then turned to "the library function", providing people with information.
Unlike the compulsive nature of moral nags, no one is forced to read a book and no one is forced to listen to Moyers. Instead, the strength of both is intelligent acceptance by the community. Don't be put off by the cover photo of Moyers; he looks like a nag, but he reads like an inspiration.
This book offers some of the best of Moyers over the past 20 years. It is a collection of gems to remind us the best qualities of America are not the politics of bitterness, the greed of selfishness or the pessimism of dismal doom.
Would America be better without Limbaugh? Perhaps not.
It is better because of Moyers. The greatness of America is its diversity of ideas. Moyers offers some of the best, and this book is a reminder of the success of decency in a world that sometimes seems to be utterly mad, selfish and foolish.