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Daring Democracy

Daring Democracy
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ISBN 9780807023815

By Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen

“This book, perhaps better than any other, shows Americans that the democracy they want is possible.”

—Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School, Author of Republic, Lost

“Now, more than ever, to save our democracy, every American needs to read Daring Democracy.”

—Ann Ravel, Former Chair of Federal Elections Commission

Legendary Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and organizer-scholar Adam Eichen offer a fresh, surprising response to America’s democracy crisis. This intergenerational duo opens with an essential truth: It’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit. No—it’s feeling powerless that does us in. So, the heart of their book is solutions. With riveting stories and little-known evidence, Lappé and Eichen demystify how we got here and show us how everyday citizens are making historic change. Even in this divisive time, Americans are uniting across causes and ideologies to create a “canopy of hope” the authors call the Democracy Movement, fulfilling essential human needs for power, meaning, and connection. In this stirring book, Lappé and Eichen offer proof that courage is contagious in the daring fight for democracy.

Table of Contents

Opening Note: Why We Had to Write This Book 

Part I: Rethinking the Crisis

Chapter 1:What It Will Take

Chapter 2: Bringing Down the Thought Barriers

Part II: Exposing the Roots

Chapter 3: Manipulating the Mindset

Chapter 4: Rigging the Rules

Part III: Creating Solutions Together

Chapter 5: Democracy’s Calling

Chapter 6: Meet the Democracy Movement

Chapter 7: Listen Up, America! North Carolina Has a Story to Tell

Chapter 8: The Thrill of Democracy

Chapter 9: Dare for Democracy





It is all too easy to fall into despair when observing what is happening in the world and contemplating the severe challenges that humans face. It is much harder, and far more important, to recognize that we need not succumb to what the authors call the “sense of futility” that “destroys us,” and can instead come together to confront the challenges, overcome them, and once again bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice and freedom. We can join the many others who are “daring democracy” in many ways, as we learn from this instructive and hopeful account of hopeful prospects.”

— Noam Chomsky

Extraordinarily timely. The book the Democracy Movement has been waiting for—hard-hitting and full of solutions that will enrich our lives.”

— Wendy Fields, Executive Director, Democracy Initiative

Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen have written a wonderfully sunny book at an exceptionally dark moment in American politics. They tell us, and I think they are right, that we are witnessing the rise of a movement of movements, and that the movement draws on reservoirs of passion and capacity embedded in our very human nature. This movement of movements that we are beginning to call The Resistance may very well save our democracy. So you need to read this book, and join the movement!”

— Frances Fox Piven, Author of Poor People’s Movements, City University of New York

In this cross-generational effort, Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen capture and explore something very important about our moment in history. Amid the serious and intrusive challenges to our democracy, there is an energetic movement to tear down barriers, advance full participation, and create a democracy that works for everyone. And that movement is creative, is winning in many places, and is bringing new people into the fold. Daring Democracy is a great and uplifting read, so grab it and enjoy!”

— Miles Rapoport, Senior Fellow, Harvard Ash Center, Former Head of Common Cause

It is time for a Daring Democracy. This book is a passionate call to 'transform fear into action.' We should heed this message and join the movement for democracy!”

— Heather Booth, Organizer and President of the Midwest Academy

If you’re finding it tough to feel optimistic about the future of our democracy—and lately, who isn’t?—then you need to read this book. Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen make clear that building a positive, even joyful pro-democracy movement that restores power to ordinary Americans isn’t just possible—it’s already happening.”

— Zachary Roth, author of The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy

As someone who has been on the opposite side of anti-democracy forces, I can say firsthand that Lappé and Eichen speak to the problems plaguing our elections, while also offering compelling solutions. An important book for anyone who cares about democracy in America.”

— Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University

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