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Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics
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 betw ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by Three Rivers Press
(first published January 1st 2004)
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
Jul 08, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Michael by: the author
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.
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 presidentia ...more