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America, the Owner's Manual Making Government Work for You Second Edition

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In 2016, Americans fed up with the political process vented that frustration with their votes. Republicans nominated for president a wealthy businessman and former reality show host best known on the campaign trail for his sharp rhetoric against immigration and foreign trade. Democrats nearly selected a self-described socialist who ran on a populist platform against the in In 2016, Americans fed up with the political process vented that frustration with their votes. Republicans nominated for president a wealthy businessman and former reality show host best known on the campaign trail for his sharp rhetoric against immigration and foreign trade. Democrats nearly selected a self-described socialist who ran on a populist platform against the influence of big money in politics.  While it is not surprising that Americans would channel their frustrations into votes for contenders who pledge to end business as usual, the truth is that we don’t have to pin our hopes for greater participation on any one candidate. All of us have a say—if we learn, master and practice the skills of effective citizenship.  One of the biggest roadblocks to participation in democracy is the perception that privileged citizens and special interests command the levers of power and that everyday Americans can’t fight City Hall. That perception is undoubtedly why a 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts survey found that 74 percent of those Americans surveyed believed that most elected officials didn't care what people like them thought.  Graham and Hand intend to change that conventional wisdom by showing citizens how to flex their citizenship muscles. They describe effective citizenship skills and provide tips from civic experts. Even more importantly, they offer numerous examples of everyday Americans who have used their skills to make democracy respond. The reader will see themselves in these examples of citizens who chose to be victorious participants rather than tranquil spectators in the arena of democracy. By the end of the book, you will have new confidence that citizen participation is the lifeblood of America -- and will be ready to make governments work for you, not the other way around.


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In 2016, Americans fed up with the political process vented that frustration with their votes. Republicans nominated for president a wealthy businessman and former reality show host best known on the campaign trail for his sharp rhetoric against immigration and foreign trade. Democrats nearly selected a self-described socialist who ran on a populist platform against the in In 2016, Americans fed up with the political process vented that frustration with their votes. Republicans nominated for president a wealthy businessman and former reality show host best known on the campaign trail for his sharp rhetoric against immigration and foreign trade. Democrats nearly selected a self-described socialist who ran on a populist platform against the influence of big money in politics.  While it is not surprising that Americans would channel their frustrations into votes for contenders who pledge to end business as usual, the truth is that we don’t have to pin our hopes for greater participation on any one candidate. All of us have a say—if we learn, master and practice the skills of effective citizenship.  One of the biggest roadblocks to participation in democracy is the perception that privileged citizens and special interests command the levers of power and that everyday Americans can’t fight City Hall. That perception is undoubtedly why a 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts survey found that 74 percent of those Americans surveyed believed that most elected officials didn't care what people like them thought.  Graham and Hand intend to change that conventional wisdom by showing citizens how to flex their citizenship muscles. They describe effective citizenship skills and provide tips from civic experts. Even more importantly, they offer numerous examples of everyday Americans who have used their skills to make democracy respond. The reader will see themselves in these examples of citizens who chose to be victorious participants rather than tranquil spectators in the arena of democracy. By the end of the book, you will have new confidence that citizen participation is the lifeblood of America -- and will be ready to make governments work for you, not the other way around.

32 review for America, the Owner's Manual Making Government Work for You Second Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donald Shank

    A thoughtful examination of what it takes to present well reasoned, persuasive, fact-based testimony before elected officials. Yelling and making unsupported or exaggerated claims may help you vent but you'll win allies or accomplish goals that way. This guide will show you how to do it right.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helen Toledo

  3. 4 out of 5

    La-Shanda

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Gelbart

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gustavo Perez

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elise

  7. 5 out of 5

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  8. 5 out of 5

    Fred Jewell

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  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  11. 5 out of 5

    SHEL WEDEMEYER

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Wingard

  13. 5 out of 5

    starr

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Davidson

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Coffman

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz Smith

  17. 4 out of 5

    James O'Donnell

  18. 5 out of 5

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  19. 5 out of 5

    Lex

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane Dugger

  21. 5 out of 5

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  22. 5 out of 5

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  23. 4 out of 5

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  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chijonz

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gerald

  29. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Pascal

  31. 5 out of 5

    Liz Smith

  32. 4 out of 5

    Andy Caffrey

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