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Jan 18, Billcorcoran rated it really liked it. One of the few TV reporters who actually covers issues relevant to our lives. I highly recommend checking out his show on PBS if you get a chance. This book is a collection of old speeches of his that cover a variety of political issues.

Nov 09, Chris rated it really liked it. Moyers is the archetype of a dogged but avuncular old-school journalist. I love his calm, well-reasoned analysis as well as his ability to accommodate both his religious beliefs and modern scientific knowledge. Anyway, this a wonderful collection of his speeches. Pointed but cautiously optimistic. The key thread here is that We The People must transcend partisan dogma and look to the universal danger of monied interests in government. It is not Republican vs.

Democrat, but working people vs. With the rise of lobbyists and Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United which enables corporations and the wealthy to spend whatever they like in election campaigns , we the common people--red or blue, working or middle class--have lost the ear of our supposed representatives -- and so our agency.

Selections from Moyers on Democracy

Moyers was in the LBJ administration at the time of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Higher Education Act of , which lead to a crescendo of expanded civic and educational opportunities for all Americans. Yet only 50 years later we're witness to the dismantling of progressive institutions which were at the foundation of America's greatness -- of the Middle Class itself. Moyer calls for considered, concerted and nonpartisan action to reclaim our great republican experiment from corporatist and plutocratic vandals within.

View all 3 comments. Apr 25, Mark Fallon rated it it was amazing. A marvelous collection of speeches that Moyers has given over the years, at dinners, conferences, graduations and funerals. The clarity of his writing is matched by the courage of his convictions.

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Moyers is a graduate of a Theological Seminary, and a proud Baptist. Like the preacher he trained to be, Moyers takes on all sinners of all stripes — Democrats and Republicans, the A marvelous collection of speeches that Moyers has given over the years, at dinners, conferences, graduations and funerals. Dec 13, Vivian rated it it was amazing. I marveled at Moyers' talent and courage to present the truth. His essays taught me so much about the difficult job of journalists, especially those who want to present the real story. Jul 18, Paul Gibson rated it really liked it. This book is a collection of speeches Bill Moyers has given over the years under the general theme of democracy.

He is a great writer and speaker.

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He is quick to recite statistics and memorable quotes. I enjoyed the book, but I guess I expected a bit more. An example being when he speaks of the problems of private money within the US political system. He tells a story about a ballot proposal put before the people of a state that would rid private money while putting public funding in its place. N This book is a collection of speeches Bill Moyers has given over the years under the general theme of democracy.

So was this democracy at work or was it money that did the convincing?

'Moyers on Democracy' by Bill Moyers

But the problems with these ideas run much deeper. This is important to know if we are to counter the arguments; unless we voters are just this stupid, gullible or somehow also bought. Many people need to be armed with a rebuttal in order to reasonably refute another. Without money we at least need better arguments. Let us say that I want to run for office against our longstanding, moneyed Senator. Let us say he and I are given equal amounts of public money to spend to get our message out. Is there any doubt that with his years and years and years worth of name recognition and franking privileges I will be soundly defeated?

Even if the Senator received no funding, it is unlikely public funding would overcome his inherent advantages. There are issues of just what constitutes free speech; constitutional issues.

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The supreme court has regrettably ruled that corporations can, at times and places, act as persons. Therefore some of the laws we pass might well be challenged at the supreme court. The court seems likely to put these laws down. The constitution might have to be amended but how safe is it to open up this convention? We have to open up a convention that goes against the entrenched interests our representatives while we expect them to pass this amendment without watering it down or further amendments.

Just how, exactly, can we write such an amendment while being both fair and have a realistic change at passing and improving things? Perhaps this is a new book for Mr. It is bound to be enjoyable reading. The speeches in this audio book are all over 10 years old, but they are timeless. The challenges to our democracy that Moyers rails against are still going on, only more so. What I had forgotten was how much George W. Bush's administration was like Trump's. Would that there were many, many more Bill Moyers. May 21, Francis Martinez rated it really liked it. This is a collections of essays and speeches given between and He's an interesting man with a lot to say and he says so eloquently.

Oct 15, Erik rated it it was amazing. I chanced upon this while browsing the shelves of my favorite bookstore in Winslow, the main town on Bainbridge Island. Coming back to him all these years later, I find that Moyers still satisfies in every way. This collection of speeches he has delivered in the I chanced upon this while browsing the shelves of my favorite bookstore in Winslow, the main town on Bainbridge Island.

This collection of speeches he has delivered in the past twenty-some years is organized by subject: They are the apologists for the people in power. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war started under false pretenses. I mean the people who turn faith-based initiatives into a slush fund and encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets.

I mean the people who would discredit dissent and present their ideology as the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy. He may be just as damning as his enemies. He said the central fact in his time was that big business had become so dominant it would chew up democracy and spit it out.

The power of corporations, he said, had to be balanced with the interest of the general public. But a hundred years later corporations are once again the undisputed overlords of government. It is, however, the governing philosophy in Washington. Here is a man who was quick to launch a 'preventative war' against Iraq on faulty intelligence and premature judgment but who refuses to take preventative action against a truly global menace about which the scientific evidence is overwhelming. But the evidence and consensus by the entire scientific community of the fact that global warming is very much real has been studied and tracked for several decades now.

The personal and political of Bill Moyers has never been more pointed than here in Moyers on Democracy. If you get your news and ideology from FOX News, while you sit stewing against equal rights before the law for people that have been historically marginalized, then I suggest you put your head back in the sand. Moyers will just annoy you further. Each essay is a stand-alone gem, but taken together, the whole does skirt repetitiveness - not an uncommon problem for collections such as this. I suggest reading each chapter, then allowing some time to pass before indulging in the next, to mitigate the effect.

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Moyers raises excellent points, and does so from the perspective of a wise and seasoned journalist and public servant. His insights into the administration of Lyndon Johnson, the Peace Corps, Hubert Humphrey's political career, Fred Frie Each essay is a stand-alone gem, but taken together, the whole does skirt repetitiveness - not an uncommon problem for collections such as this. His insights into the administration of Lyndon Johnson, the Peace Corps, Hubert Humphrey's political career, Fred Friendly's influence on both CBS news and the Corporation for Public Broadcast offer the reader a rare look into the metamorphosis of news into history through first-hand report and subsequent analysis by the same author.

Convincing though his passionate arguments are, I can't quite bring myself to embrace the alarm and pessimism he sometimes conveys. It's difficult for me to accept the decline of the printed newspaper and media of the 20th century as a harbinger of the fall of America, so much as a natural environmental evolution in response to the rise of competition from emerging electronic forms through the new media of the internet.

He doesn't demure from the fact that he's made a living at the very industry who's decline he mourns. To be fair, I also worry when confronted with the absurd bias and erosion of standards, but I find myself wondering how hard core news and reporting ever managed to survive in the early 20th century in the first place.

Some blame should probably fall on the consumers of such yellow journalism as well as on the producers, and the real danger and price of freedom is the danger of mass consumption of garbage, and the freedom to choose to be more entertained than informed. Consumers' ability to learn and understand has been undermined by the breadth available through new media, coming at the sacrifice of depth.

Moyers seems to assert that some code of standards upheld by a knightly order of media leaders has been broken and may be irreparable. I'm not convince that it was ever more than an illusion or pure circumstance that it ever found a place at all. Still, the man has seen and thought much about the experiment of America, and that has to be respected. The collection is worth reading and debate, and I suspect will join a pantheon of writings considered by generations to come They live one divorce, one pink slip, one illness away from a free fall. Largely forgotten by the press, politicians, and policy makers who fashion government safety nets, they have no nest egg, no income but the next paycheck, no way of paying for their children to go to college.

Over the years I have chronicled the lives of some of these people in my documentaries. Now, a few days after the election of , I was asked to speak at a conference sponsored by The Nation, the Brennan Center for Justice, the New Democracy Project, and Demos to discuss the prospects of democracy. Those prospects are dim, I realized, unless we write a story of America that includes those people who are living on the edge, with no friend in the White House. Voters have provided a respite from a right-wing radicalism predicated on the philosophy that extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice.

It seems only yesterday that the Trojan horse of conservatism was hauled into Washington to disgorge Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, and their band of ravenous predators masquerading as a political party of small government, fiscal restraint, and moral piety and promising "to restore accountability to Congress Let them rejoice while they can, as long as they remember that they have arrived at this moment mainly because George W. Bush started a war most people have come to believe should never have been fought in the first place. Let them remember that although they are reveling in the ruins of a Republican reign brought down by stupendous scandals, their own closet is stocked with skeletons from an era when they were routed from office following ABSCAM bribes and savings and loan swindles that plucked the pockets and purses of hardworking Americans.

As they rejoice Democrats would be wise to be mindful of Shakespeare's counsel: Whatever one might say about the election, the real story is one that our political and media elites are loath to acknowledge or address. I am not speaking of the lengthy list of priorities that progressives and liberals are eager to put on the table now that Democrats hold the cards in Congress.

The other day a message popped up on my computer from a progressive advocate who is committed to movement building from the ground up and has results to show for his labors.

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His request was simple: Click here to submit your top priority. Up came a list of thirty-four issues--an impressive list that began with "African American" and ran alphabetically through "energy" and "guns," to "higher education" "transportation," "women's issues," and "worker's rights.

I understand the mind-set. Here's a fellow who values allies and appreciates what it takes to build coalitions; who knows that although our interests as citizens vary, each one is an artery to the heart that pumps life through the body politic, and each is important to the health of democracy. This is an activist who knows political success is the sum of many parts. But America needs something more right now than a "must-do" list from liberals and progressives. America needs a different story. She is sixty-three, lives in Los Angeles, suffers from dementia, and is homeless.

Somehow she made her way to a hospital with serious, untreated needs. No details were provided as to what happened to her there, except that the hospital called a cab and sent her back to skid row.

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True, they phoned ahead to workers at a rescue shelter to let them know she was coming. But some hours later a surveillance camera picked her up "wandering around the streets in a hospital gown and slippers. Here is the real political story, the one most politicians won't even acknowledge: Everywhere you turn you'll find people who believe they have been written out of the story. Everywhere you turn there's a sense of insecurity grounded in a gnawing fear that freedom in America has come to mean the freedom of the rich to get richer even as millions of Americans are thrown overboard.

So let me say what I think up front: There's no mistaking America is ready for change. One of our leading analysts of public opinion, Daniel Yankelovich, reports that a majority want social cohesion and common ground based on pragmatism and compromise, patriotism and diversity. But because of the great disparities in wealth the "shining city on the hill" has become a gated community whose privileged occupants, surrounded by moats of money and protected by a political system seduced with cash into subservience, are removed from the common life of the country. The wreckage of this revolt of elites is all around us.

Corporations are shredding the social compact, pensions are disappearing, medium incomes are flattening, and health-care costs are soaring. In many ways, the average household is generally worse off today than it was thirty years ago, and the public sector that improved life for millions of Americans across three generations is in tatters. For a time, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by more work and more personal debt. Both political parties craftily refashioned those major renovations of the average household as the new standard, shielding employers from responsibility for anything Wall Street would not reward.

Now, however, the more acute major risks workers have been forced to bear as employers reduce their health and retirement costs have reveal that gains made by people who live paycheck to paycheck are being reversed. Polls show a majority of American workers now believe their children will be worse off than they were. In one recent survey, only 14 percent of workers said that they have obtained the American dream.

It is hard to believe that less than four decades ago a key architect of the antipoverty program, Robert Lampman, could argue that the "recent history of Western nations reveals an increasingly widespread adoption of the idea that substantial equality of social and economic conditions among individuals is a good thing. Here is how a Time magazine report summed up the national outlook in People are not growing wealthy, but more of them than ever before are getting along Within a decade, thanks to the civil rights movement and President Lyndon Johnson, the racial cast of many federal policies--including some New Deal programs--was aggressively repudiated, and shared prosperity began to breach the color line.

To this day I remember John F. Kennedy's landmark speech at the Yale commencement in Echoing Daniel Bell's cold war classic The End of Ideology , JFK proclaimed the triumph of "practical management of a modern economy" over the "grand warfare of rival ideologies. But the Democrats never rearmed. Noting that right-wing polemicists have long tried to tar "fact-based reporting that undermines their worldview" as "liberal advocacy journalism," of which he is among the country's prominent practitioners, he responds, "All I can say is that if reporting what happens to ordinary people because of events beyond their control, and the indifference of government to their fate, is 'liberal,' I plead guilty.

Our government may not just be indifferent to the fate of its ordinary citizens but actually averse to serving them, for starters. The shredding it is beyond fraying of what was long understood to be the social compact is the simplest way to describe the common thread running through "Moyers on Democracy," a collection of talks he has delivered at such diverse venues as West Point, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Texas State Historical Assn.

They have been updated with introductory material to provide context; a few date to the s, but most show what has been on Moyers' mind in the last three years. The book's coherence stems from its repetition of interlocking themes -- income disparity, the influence of special-interest money, government secrecy, the failures of media to effectively fulfill their watchdog role, the expunging of historical context, the unequal access to decent education -- rather than from articulation of an extended, developed argument.

In a speech not included here on progressivism, Moyers said, "I don't harbor any idealized notion of politics and democracy. But there is nothing idealized or romantic about the difference between a society whose arrangements roughly serve all its citizens and one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud. We have fallen under the spell of money, faction, and fear, and the great American experience in creating a different future together has been subjugated to individual cunning in the pursuit of wealth and power -- and to the claims of empire, with its ravenous demands and stuporous distractions.