Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think

Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think


, 2020, arc, government, Politics, Nonfiction, History

Bill Bryson meets Thomas Frank in this deeply insightful, unexpectedly hilarious story of how politicians hijacked American democracy and how we can take it back

The democracy you live in today is different—completely different—from the democracy you were born into. You probably don't realize just how radically your republic has been altered during your lifetime. Yet more than any policy issue, political trend, or even Donald Trump himself, our redesigned system of government is responsible for the peril America faces today.

What explains the gap between what We, the People want and what our elected leaders do? How can we fix our politics before it's too late? And how can we truly understand the state of our democracy without wanting to crawl under a rock? That's what former Obama speechwriter David Litt set out to answer.

Poking into forgotten corners of history, translating political science into plain English, and traveling the country to meet experts and activists, Litt explains how the world’s greatest experiment in democracy went awry. 

(He also tries to crash a party at Mitch McConnell’s former frat house. It goes poorly.)

The result of Litt's journey is something you might not have thought possible: a page-turner about the political process. You'll meet the Supreme Court justice charged with murder, learn how James Madison's college roommate broke the Senate, encounter a citrus thief who embodies what's wrong with our elections, and join Belle the bill as she tries to become a law (a quest far more harrowing than the one in Schoolhouse Rock!).

Yet despite his clear-eyed assessment of the dangers we face, Litt remains audaciously optimistic. He offers a to-do list of bold yet achievable changes—a blueprint for restoring the balance of power in America before it's too late.

Title:Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think
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    Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think Reviews

  • Avid

    I haven’t finished it yet, but i’ve already gotten enough valuable information to rate it a 5. If you believe you have or should have representation in our democracy, please read this ASAP. It con...

  • David

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.First, I was impressed by the tonal balance that David Litt achieves here. Written for a popular audience, Litt's humor and pop...

  • Colleen Mertens

    For a political book, this book was very easy to read. David Litt explains how democracy should work and why our system is messed up. He talks about everything that interferes with our system working ...

  • Stephanie

       I went into this book really only knowing the title. I had no idea who the author was (I didn’t even notice the ‘author of…’ on the bottom of the front cover picture!), but if he could h...

  • Kaitlin Barnes

    Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. When was the last time that you laughed out loud while learning about campaign financ...

  • Eddie Gordon

    Motivational, although, in parts, a little dryer than I was expecting. The exposé of voter suppression is pretty terrifying. I was slightly concerned that I had no at-hand way of fact-checking some o...

  • S

    Audiobook reviewDavid Litt is a good writer, excellent narrator and simply a good story teller. His previous book, "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years" was one of the funniest books I ...

  • Rachel

    Democracy in One Book or Less by David Litt is an excellent book discusses the fundamental concepts of Democracy as they originated, and were intended, and how deviations from those concepts that our ...

  • Tawney

    I received this book compliments of HarperCollins through NetGalley. The opinions are mine.Most of us realize that our government doesn't work the way we were taught it does. David Litt does an excell...

  • Tyler Jared

    The reality of our democratic process’ failures is jarring and dispiriting. This book, however, provides an optimistic roadmap if we are willing to put in the work required to keep our republic. Fan...