Healing the Heart of Democracy
Parker and the staff of the Center have been close partners in developing this book ever since 2004-2005, when the idea first came up. That partnership has included a lot of conversation, critical reading of various drafts, and two national conferences on democracy in 2010. “All of this,” says Parker, “helped make the book much better than it would have been had I been working alone.”Parker J. Palmer’s book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (2011) can be purchased here and the Prelude can be downloaded here.
“For those of us who want democracy to survive and thrive, the heart is where the work begins—that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten our unity as openings to new life for us and for our nation.” —From the Prelude
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.”
“Democracy,” writes Palmer, “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.”
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. He proposes practical, promising ways to hold the tensions of our differences for the sake of restoring a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
About the Author
Parker J. Palmer’s writing speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. Author of nine books—including the bestsellers The Courage to Teach, Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness—Palmer is the founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His work has been recognized with ten honorary doctorates and many national awards, including the 2010 William Rainey Harper Award, previously won by Margaret Mead, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel.
Resource Link: http://www.wiley.com/buy/9780470590805