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June 22 , 2010

The New Progressive Era

Toward a Fair and Deliberative Democracy


A century ago, Americans launched a period of civic renewal and political reform. Today, amid deep dissatisfaction with our major institutions, there are signs that a new movement may revive the spirit of the original Progressive Era. Peter Levine draws inspiration from the great Progressive leader Robert M. La Follete, Sr., and his circle, which included John Dewey, Jane Addams, and Louis Brandeis. He discusses the shortcomings of this group as well as their successes, but he argues that their ideal of a fair and deliberative democracy is right for our time. Combining their philosophy and experience with the best contemporary proposals, Levine advocates campaign finance reform, an entirely different approach to regulation, new styles of journalism and civic education, and fundamental changes in the tax system. Combining philosophical arguments, historical background, empirical data, and concrete proposals, The New Progressive Era offers todayOs most comprehensive plan for civic renewal and political reform.

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