Catalogue


The uncivil war : how a new elite is destroying our democracy /
David M. Lebedoff.
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Taylor Trade Pub., 2004.
description
xi, 191 p.
ISBN
1589791517 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Taylor Trade Pub., 2004.
isbn
1589791517 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5327904
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
David Lebedoff was born and raised in Minneapolis, where he currently lives with his wife and three children. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Harvard Law School and the author of five books
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Reviews
Review Quotes
Lebedoff writes elegantly.
Lebenoff always writes fascinating, thought provoking books... definitely worth a read.
Mr. David Lebedoff addresses here an issue as timely as the front page of your daily newspaper and as ancient as Aristotle: 'Who makes the laws?' Aristotle observes that a polity can have government by the one, the few, or the many, and that the conflict over which is to prevail creates permanent instability. The ensuing history of Europe amply demonstrated this. In 1787, the American founders tried to solve the problem of perpetual instability through their theory of mixed government, but, finally, they made 'We the People' the first three words of the Constitution, the basis for the laws. The sense of the people, in order to be deliberate was to be filtered through the constitutional process. But We the People finally wrote the laws. The founders, after all, had just won a revolution against government by the one. Their founding principle is now under assault by an effort to establish "government by the few," government by law school graduates being one expression of this. Mr. Lebedoff offers here a profound analysis of how this has come to pass.
With America more divided than at any time since the 1960s, it's time to take a step back and thoughfully puzzle out the causes of our differences; this is what author and lawyer David Lebedoff tries to do in The Uncivil War. The book does not disappoint. Lebedoff has found an original and brilliant way to illuminate contemporary politics and culture. He provides a look at modern society through a lens that is once thoughtful, novel, and fun.
Once again David Lebedoff has turned his laser eye to the American polity and American politics. Anyone wanting to understand either should read this book, which is a swift read and a narrative prize.
Lebedoff has found an original and brilliant way to illuminate contemporary politics and culture.
Lebedoff shines a powerful beam of light into the deep social and political waters of the last thirty years, the light of intelligence and concrete observation, and he is consciously in the mainstream of the American democratic political tradition. In his precision and his lucidity, he is a latter-day Toqueville.
Fascinating, thought-provoking book... definitely worth a read
Lebedoff describes an epic social struggle occurring at present between 'New Elites' and the 'Left Behinds.'
This item was reviewed in:
New York Times Book Review, November 2004
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Summaries
Main Description
The New Elite are the self-proclaimed smartest people in the land, a test-score meritocracy that believes the consent of the governed has been made obsolete by th SAT. Lebedoff says the real fight is between those who believe in majority rule and those who believe in rule by experts.
Long Description
This controversial book describes how the New Elite-a self-selected class whose members believe they know what's good for the rest of us-has been systematically attacking our tradition of majority rule. The capture of our political parties by extremists, campaigns based on anger rather than issues, laws created by unelected judges, congressmen immune from defeat, and an alienated and ignored electorate-all these represent a calculated effort of a new class to replace the public will with its own. Who are the New Elite? They are, Lebedoff asserts, the self-proclaimed "smartest people in the land," a test-score "meritocracy" that believes that the consent of the governed has been made obsolete by the SAT. If presidential hopefuls such as Howard Dean appear to represent this new class, or to disdain traditional values, he will be rejected by a public less fearful of Bush's ties to the elite of wealth than by dominance of the anti-democratic new elite. The New Elite is as much about perception as substance, Lebedoff further claims, citing Al Gore's defeat to George Bush as representative of the rejection of someone who sounded like a member of the new class. Dean faces the same problem-maybe more so, because the real fight is not between liberals and conservatives but between those who believe in majority rule and those who believe in rule by experts. By revealing the causes of our retreat from democracy, The Uncivil War helps us learn how to regain the right to govern ourselves.
Short Annotation
The New Elite are the self-proclaimed smartest people in the land, a test-score meritocracy that believes the consent of the governed has been made obsolete by the SAT. Lebedoff says the real fight is between those who believe in majority rule and those who believe in rule by experts.
Main Description
Who are the New Elite? They are those, Lebedoff asserts, who think they're smarter than everyone else and that this has been scientifically proven by test scores. Accordingly, they're busily replacing majority rule with rule by themselves. The public senses this, and so we've changed the way we vote. Issues now count for less than class identity. Voters reject candidates perceived to be closest to the New Elite. During the 2000 election, fewer people were bothered by George Bush's ties to big business than by Al Gore's perceived membership in this new class. This is a new kind of class war, being fiercely fought. Elections are now not so much between conservatives and liberals as between those who believe in majority rule and those who believe in rule by expert -- between those who rely on experience and those who rely on theories. The Bush-Kerry election will be won by the candidate who best understands these distinctions. The Uncivil War tells us not who will win, but why. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Backwordp. ix
The New Elite
The Perfect Storm: The Bush/Gore Race in 2000p. 3
The Birth of a Classp. 11
Who They Arep. 31
What They Want: The Death of Politicsp. 51
Rule by the Courtsp. 71
The Way We Live Now
Test Scores Up, Culture Downp. 87
Enron and the SATp. 93
The Rise of the SATocracyp. 101
The Collapse of Moral Relativismp. 113
The Way We Vote Now
The New Way of Picking Presidentsp. 121
The New Elite in the White Housep. 143
The Revolt of the Left Behindsp. 155
Thong with the Wind: The Clinton Impeachment Dramap. 169
The Emerging Majority Is the Majority: The Election of 2002p. 175
About the Authorp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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