Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

Susan Clark, Author, Woden Teachout, Author
Susan Clark and Woden Teachout. Chelsea Green, $19.95 trade paper (272 p) ISBN 978-1-60358-413-5
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Making the case for local control and community action while offering plenty of worthwhile advice, community leader Clark and democracy scholar Teachout tell how to get things done in the public sphere. The authors are open about their leftist leanings but make it clear that "slow democracy" is not about partisanship or political labels. On issues including community control of water systems and school re-districting, the authors paint an upbeat picture of participatory democracy. They devote much of the book to success stories, mainly from small cities like Portsmouth, N.H. Intending to be inspirational, sometimes lyrical and crunchy-granola in spirit, Clark and Teachout can resort to the obvious or mundane: "[s]low democracy is about inviting neighbors into community conversations about issues that matter." But readers who instinctively resist suffocating regulations and Big Brother authorities will welcome the book's insights. Clark and Teachout favor a New England-style town-hall political culture that wouldn't last five minutes in Chicago or Los Angeles, yet anyone who wants to reinvigorate grass-roots involvement and moderate top-down rule can benefit from this earnest volume. Activists and organizers will appreciate the useful tips, and Clark and Teachout's community strategies will resonate with both conservatives and progressives. (Oct.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X