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Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics

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With a fighting spirit, a fresh perspective, and flashes of humor, John P. Avlon tells the story of the vital center in American politics, from Theodore Roosevelt to the present day. Independent Nation is a rallying cry for the moderate majority of Americans who are tired of the intolerant voices on the far right and left and choose instead to walk an independent path between these extremes in the belief that what we share as Americans is far greater than what divides us.

512 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

John P. Avlon

6 books52 followers
John Phillips Avlon (born 1973) is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. He was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun and worked as chief speechwriter for former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He was Director of Speechwriting and Deputy Policy Director for Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign. He is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is senior political columnist at TheDailyBeast.com.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Jon.
128 reviews5 followers
December 2, 2009
Good history leasons on past leaders who were moderates. I am surprised by the list of them, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Woodrow Wilson, Bill Clinton, etc. The book essentially states that the most effective leaders in our history are ones that took a moderate and centrist view of things to squash the radical ideals from both the left and right. Additionally, that most Americans are now considering themselves independents not particular to either party any longer.

I am a little slow in reading it however as my little baby girls is eating up a lot of free time. Also have a neck injury that doesn't let me read for hours on end.
Profile Image for Shawn.
124 reviews
November 16, 2008
The arguments that we are largely a centrist nation, and that presidential candidates therefore need to appeal to the middle to win in the general election are good, albeit a little repetitive. I get it: You need to appeal to the left or right wing to win the party nomination, and the center to win in the general, so we will tend to wind up with centrist candidates, or at ones that can sound that way around election time.
5 reviews1 follower
Currently reading
February 18, 2010
More of a case study of past politicians than a current roadmap. Neat look at how partisanship has always divided politics and hindered change while centrism has been the source of advancement.
Profile Image for Jacob Salaj.
5 reviews
March 28, 2020
A good read on radical centrism in American politics and how these many centrists have influenced America. Avalon presents his thesis that the greatest political influences of the last century didn’t come from the so called left or right, but the center, where many Americans tend to be.
Profile Image for Sam Snideman.
128 reviews3 followers
August 28, 2011
I read this book in graduate school, when my political beliefs were crystallizing around centrist politics. It gives some very interesting, insightful profiles of centrist political figures in American history. I think it's a good place to start if you're looking to consider how moderates in America have shaped our government and our public policy, and if you'd like to see America move back to being the center-right country it's always been.
8 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2008
Full disclosure: John is a good friend. Still, he is an excellent author and captures the nature and essence of political independence and idependents. A perfect read for this upcoming election.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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