Litt’s comprehensive study of what a democracy actually consists of casts a welcome, cleansing beam of light on a subject that has become increasingly murky and frustratingly confusing ... From voting rights disenfranchisement to the labyrinthine logic behind the Electoral College, Litt covers every aspect of American governance and politics at perspectives both granular and big-picture, analyzing what’s right and wrong with our democracy through historical and contemporary lenses ... A senior presidential speechwriter in the Obama administration, Litt has a breezy, often conversational tone, but that in no way diminishes the force of his argument. Politics has changed, and not in a good way. But there are ways American democracy can be fixed, and it is to Litt’s credit that he offers practical albeit challenging solutions to the problems confronting our system of governance.
Litt refreshingly debunks myths about our founders, pointing up false narratives and warped historical perceptions. He is explicit on the calamitous risks of a widening income gap that concentrates power in the one percent. The racism that erodes our democracy bears repeating as well, and loudly ... breezy, digestible prose ... a no-nonsense guide for how we, the people, can fix ourselves.
David Litt, a former Obama speechwriter, brings Dave Barry-style humor to an illuminating book on what is wrong with American democracy — and how to put it right. His humor and ability to clarify the complex take readers on a jaunty journey ... Litt’s playful stories and fun facts explode common wisdom ... In the book’s strongest contribution, Litt shows how radically our democracy has been altered in recent decades ... Despite sharing Litt’s political leanings, alma mater and love of cats, I could barely get past the off-putting tone I call liberal East Coast smug. More important, it means I can’t get my conservative brother or father to read this book and take its lessons to heart ... I’ll hope some former Republican takes it upon herself to write a translation. Meanwhile, those on the other side of the aisle can enjoy Litt’s rollicking read about this important topic.
Former White House speechwriter and humorist Litt digs in deep to discuss what’s ailing us politically—and gets in a few laughs along the way ... A pleasure to read, even in its darkest moments, and refreshingly optimistic about the future of the republic.
... snappy and well-informed ... solid historical analysis, substantive political science, and wry humor ... Both optimistic and clear-eyed, this quip-filled call to action will resonate strongly with young progressives.