Thursday, June 26, 2008

Looking for reading recommendations

My lackadaisical (sp?) blogging of late has reduced my readership such that I will probably get no responses to this, but - here goes anyway.

I would like to educate myself some more about two period in US history, in order to better think about the state of our democracy today, and what we need to do to heal it.

Specifically, I am interested in:

  • The earliest days when the structure of our democracy was put into place - the questions the founders thought about, how they thought about them, their inspirations, why they concluded what they did, and where they disagreed. I think we need to go back to some of that original thinking - even though the social norms have changed considerably - and revisit some first principles about democracy, and the conditions and safeguards required to sustain it.
  • The "progressive era" between the Guilded Age and the New Deal - that populist uprising in response to obscene concentration of wealth and corruption of power, which yielded women's suffrage, the labor movement, the Grange movement, and a whole host of other innovations by the people, for the people. Plus, there was a depression in there, which also seems relevant to our current circumstances.

There are a jillion well-known books about the "founding fathers," and not many about the progressive era, so on both fronts I'm not sure where to start. Recommendations would be welcome.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

I would suggest getting a ginormous general US history book and then looking in the bibliography of the chapters during the time periods you are interested in. Maybe try A People's History of the United States?