by David Mathews
University of Illinois Press, 1999
eISBN: 978-0-252-09486-6 | Paper: 978-0-252-06382-4 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02088-9
Library of Congress Classification JK1764.M38 1994
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.0420973

A must for anyone angry at being shut out of the political system

David Mathews points out that many Americans, making no secret of their anger at being shut out of the political system, are looking for ways to take that system back. Because of their low opinion of "politics as usual," Mathews believes, some people are trying to create a politics relevant to their everyday lives. These efforts give us a richer understanding of political life and of a much-neglected subject: the public. In Politics for People, Mathews describes how people become politically engaged, how they build civic communities, and how they generate political energy or public will. He argues that political discussion is the doorway into politics, and he makes a case for leavening partisan debate with more public dialogue. He then explains what a democratic citizenry must do if representative government is to perform effectively, and he shows how officials might work with, and not just for, the public.