How to Save Democracy: Advice and Inspiration from 96 World Leaders
Forthcoming book of quotations
One value of How to Save Democracy: Advice and Inspiration from 96 World Leaders is the hope and optimism it instills in readers. It brings poetry to the fight, but, as vital to triumphing over demagoguery and corruption, it outlines seven key principles of democratic success.
See Table of Contents below.
Democracy doesn’t happen by accident.
We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it.
How to Save Democracy is a book I began during a period of double grief in my life. My father, eighty-five years old, was dying of prostate cancer. During the same month I joined other Americans in commemorating and mourning the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. That day represented the spread of a different sort of cancer in America—a cancer of demagoguery, corruption, and authoritarianism.
These events, however, closely coincided with the first international Summit for Democracy, where more than one hundred world leaders gathered virtually to inspire citizens throughout the world to stand up for democracy, to fight for democracy, and to unite against corruption and authoritarianism.
I watched the speeches of the leaders as a means for finding answers to a keen personal question: What can citizens like me do to help protect American democracy from further decline?
Giving Breath to Democracy
We must never forget that democracy is not simply a monolithic institutional construct. It is about people. And this is why we must commit always to seeing each other, to hearing each other, and to caring for each other. If we can do this, then we can give breath to democracy each and every day.
MIA AMOR MOTTLEY, Prime Minister of Barbados
The speakers laid out plenty of concrete solutions to democratic decline, but that’s not what prompted me to pull out pen and paper to start How to Save Democracy. What lifted my pen was the same thing that lightened my burden: the force of hope, wisdom, and courage conveyed by the speakers.
I was heartened and emboldened by the words spoken at the Summit for Democracy. So for myself, my children, and anyone else tinged by despair over the state of democracy in the United States—and the world—I decided to gather them into this volume for easy reading and reference.
Because the quotations buoyed my spirits during a time of grief, I thought they might do the same for others.
How to Save Democracy is the product of a collaboration between myself and RepresentUs, one of the nation’s premier nonprofit organizations fighting corruption and strengthening democracy.
The book’s 423 quotations are derived from the First International Summit for Democracy.
Children & Grandchildren
In the end, it all boils down to one simple question. How do you want to live? As a strong believer in the democratic system, my answer is simple. I want to live in a world—I want my children and my future grandchildren to grow up in a world—where the freedom of expression, of religion or belief, the freedom of assembly, and the rights of minorities are not just noble sentiments but an everyday reality.
ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, Former Chancellor of Austria
How to Save Democracy: Advice and Inspiration from 96 World Leaders is scheduled for publication in early 2023.
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Divided into three sections—Virtues of Democracy, Challenges & Threats, and The Way Forward—Saving Democracy lays out the concrete commitments and strategies necessary for democracies to survive and thrive.
See “Contents” below for full details about sections and chapters of the book
Children & Young Adults
How to Save Democracy is a book for people of all ages and nationalities. But my hope is that parents and teachers will get hand it down to children and young adults because the challenges before them in defending democracy will likely equal, if not exceed, our own.