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

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  24 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
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Paperback, 251 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1999)
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B
Mar 25, 2013 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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Caitlin
Sep 12, 2008 Caitlin rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2007 Kristin rated it it was amazing
I love Tom Geoghegan. All of his books. I love him. He makes me miss Chicago terribly.
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Always a great insight into Chicago
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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
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