The Secret Lives of Citizens: Pursuing the Promise of American Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret Lives of Citizens: Pursuing the Promise of American Life

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In this witty combination of memoir and observation, Thomas Geoghegan addresses the widespread cynicism about our government and explores what it means to be a "national" civil servant and a "local" citizen.

"This is unlike any public-policy book I've ever read: part Catcher in the Rye, part The Road to Wigan Pier, part The Federalist Papers, it is mesmerizing, rueful, pain...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 40)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
B
Geoghegan manages to weave his personal life, his politics, and a morality play together without seeming too preachy or self-involved. Part of it is his magical writing style that allows him to keep propelling forward and leave the reader without time or concern about whether the thesis is working at a given point—or, indeed, whether there is a thesis at a given point.

Taken as a serious work, it's a little harder to assess. There are a lot of complaints that, if resolved, may not resolve what re...more
Caitlin
A thoughtful and quirky reflection in which Geoghegan shares his efforts to figure out how exactly to best be an active citizen--what sector, through which means, and for which causes. He is funny and smart, and his style is like none other--he manages to discuss policy issues with a quirky poetic style. Some of his ideas for change--abolish the senate!--are pretty unrealistic at times and left me wondering, in the absence of achieving these goals, what he would have his readers do. But a good r...more
Kristin
I love Tom Geoghegan. All of his books. I love him. He makes me miss Chicago terribly.
Mike
Always a great insight into Chicago
William Haywood Carey
William Haywood Carey marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2013
Emmarie
Emmarie marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2012
Chris
Chris added it
Jul 25, 2011
Al
Al marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2011
Hakija
Hakija marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2011
Rorie
Rorie marked it as to-read
May 20, 2011
Shinynickel
Shinynickel marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2011
Bethany Lang
Bethany Lang marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2011
Tracey
Tracey marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2011
Kelly
Kelly marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2011
Eric
Eric marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2011
Luke
Luke marked it as to-read
May 03, 2010
Carl Yirka
Carl Yirka marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2009
Brad
Brad marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2009
Joe
Joe marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2009
Laura
Laura added it
Mar 23, 2009
Jeremy
Jeremy marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2009
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Thomas Geoghegan received national attention when he ran as a progressive candidate for Rahm Emanuels congressional seat in 2009 (and was endorsed by Barbara Ehrenreich, James Fallows, Thomas Frank, James K. Galbraith, Hendrik Hertzberg, Alex Kotlowitz, Sara Paretsky, Rick Perlstein, Katha Pollitt, David Sirota, Garry Wills, and Naomi Wolf, among others). He is a practicing attorney and the author...more
More about Thomas Geoghegan...
Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life Which Side Are You on?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back See You in Court: How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation The Law in Shambles Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement

Share This Book