As some of you may know, I recently launched an online political book club for TheCopia.com. After wrapping up our first read – E.J. Dionne’s “Our Divided Political Heart” – we launched an online survey to select our next book. The people have spoken, and the winning selection is Thomas Mann & Norm Ornstein’s recent book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism”
I’m excited to get started and read this book with everyone in the club. To kick things off, I wanted to share some of the reviews. Including one from the author of the last book that we read, EJ Dionne.
Here’s what EJ said about Mann & Ornstein’s book:
“The phrase ‘essential reading’ does not begin to get at the importance of this passionate warning by two of our very best political scientists about our nation’s capacity to govern itself. Mann and Ornstein sweep aside the timid conventional wisdom to inform Americans that our problems are even worse than we think they are. It is absolutely vital that this book’s findings and message enter the consciousness and consciences of journalists, politicians and citizens who care about the future of our republic.”
If you’re sensing a theme in our book club then you’re right. This is a big election year and we have big issues to decide as a country in this election. (This weekend’s news that Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate made that even more clear). We just finished Dionne’s look at what got us to this point as a country, looking back at our history. Now we’re going to read from Mann & Ornstein about how our congressional system has also brought us to this divisive point and the reforms that are needed.
As we go forward I’ll be posting weekly discussion items and questions so you can get involved in the conversation. And as we read the book I’ll post comments in the margins that you can read with your Copia app. Here’s everything you need to know:
If you haven’t already created a free account on TheCopia.com, you can sign up at thecopia.com/trippi
2/ Download the book:
Once you create your account, you’ll need to do two things in order to read the book along with us. You need to download an app or reader from Copia. (Instructions at: http://www.thecopia.com/about/applications.html
) and then you need to download our book. Just search in the library for ”It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” and click download. This is the only way that you’ll be able to see my in-page comments.
3/ Join the Discussion
: All of the discussion questions will be posted in my group on thecopia.com
4/ Read With Us
: This book is a short read- and it’s going to be a great discussion. This week (August 14-20) we’ll read up until page 85 (Part I: The Problem). Next week (August 21-27) we’ll read the rest (Part II: What to Do About It).
If you have any questions or have an idea for the club, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.