At this critical moment in American life, Parker J. Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good. Building on his decades of social activism and inner life exploration, Palmer examines ways to restore the invisible infrastructure of American politics. What he did for educators in The Courage to Teach he does here for citizens by seeking answers to democracy's dilemmas within us and between us. He points the way to a politics rooted in the commonwealth of creativity and courage still found among "We the People."
Palmer names the "habits of the heart" we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives.
"Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart's alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy's demands."-From the Prelude