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Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life

Democracy's Edge
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ISBN 9780787943110

By Frances Moore Lappé

In Democracy’s Edge, Lappé reveals an invisible revolution that is taking place in communities throughout our country. She shows how ordinary citizens, driven by a desire to move beyond rhetoric and ideology to solve problems in a direct, practical way, are changing the way we live, work, and govern ourselves. Democracy’s Edge explores how this new approach, what Lappé calls “living democracy,” is working in local government, education, the workplace, human services, and the media. Offering real lessons learned from ordinary Americans, Lappé explodes popular myths about public life, power, and self-interest that stop individuals from discovering the rewards of public involvement. In an era of citizens’ great frustration with the way our democracy is working, Democracy’s Edge provides a powerful and practical way forward.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Living on Democracy's Edge

1. The Frame

2. The Long Arc

3. Power is not a Four-Letter Word

PART TWO: Democracy Growing Up

4. Our Coat

5. The Elephant

PART THREE: Democracy as a Verb

6. Attention

7. Action

8. Choice

9. Voice

PART FOUR: Democracy in Our Bones

10: Learning

11. Security

12. The Invitation

Two Frames for Democracy

Towards a Language of Democracy


Entry Points for Living Democracy

The Author


Check out the map of the book use!

I use Daring Democracy [in my class] purposefully as a tonic to the intensity of current events, and students respond well. The book helps them to focus strategically on next steps.”

—Professor Richard Wallace at Ursinus College

Small Planet Institute is pleased to provide a complimentary exam copy to instructors who wish to consider adopting Daring Democracy for use in their college or university classes.

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Daring Democracy Discussion Guide for schools
Daring Democracy Discussion Guide for congregations


Please, please, please make this audacious book a priority, for it is written with the most careful and tender feelings about what we are all so near to losing—our democracy.”

— Dame Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop

America is lost in a gnarled thicket of bought politicos, corporate con men, and media hucksters. Lappé has drawn the map that will get us out alive.”

— Greg Palast, Author, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Lappé is a pioneer in democratic thought and action.”

— Cornel West, University Professor of Religion, Princeton University

Extraordinary. A provocative and exciting new approach to reviving democracy.”

–— Amy Domini, Founder and CEO, Domini Social Investments

Democracy’s Edge is an exciting and hopeful account of the rebirth of a living American democracy as people connect with each other around the country to solve problems and build a better society.”

— Jim Wallis, Author, God’s Politics, Editor of Call to Renewal

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