Anecdotes as Antidotes

Blessed Are the Organized
Grassroots Democracy in America
Jeffrey Stout
Princeton University Press, $29.95, 346 pp.

Princeton philosopher Jeffrey Stout describes an encounter that I suspect many political theorists who have gone public with their doubts about the health of American democracy have had of late. Lecturing in Tennessee in 2004, Stout argued that “the current crisis of democracy is grave enough that concerted action on the part of many citizens would be required to overcome it.” During the question-and-answer period following his talk, he was brought up short by a college freshman who said...

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About the Author

Robert Westbrook teaches modern American history at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Democratic Hope: Pragmatism and the Politics of Truth.

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