Antidemocracy in America

Truth, Power, and the Republic at Risk

Edited by Eric Klinenberg, Caitlin Zaloom, and Sharon Marcus

Columbia University Press

Antidemocracy in America

Pub Date: June 2019

ISBN: 9780231190114

272 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $19.95£14.99

Pub Date: June 2019

ISBN: 9780231190107

272 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£47.00

Pub Date: June 2019

ISBN: 9780231548724

272 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $18.99£14.99

Antidemocracy in America

Truth, Power, and the Republic at Risk

Edited by Eric Klinenberg, Caitlin Zaloom, and Sharon Marcus

Columbia University Press

On Election Day in 2016, it seemed unthinkable to many Americans that Donald Trump could become president of the United States. But the victories of the Obama administration hid from view fundamental problems deeply rooted in American social institutions and history. The election’s consequences drastically changed how Americans experience their country, especially for those threatened by the public outburst of bigotry and repression. Amid the deluge of tweets and breaking news stories that turn each day into a political soap opera, it can be difficult to take a step back and see the big picture. To confront the threats we face, we must recognize that the Trump presidency is a symptom, not the malady.

Antidemocracy in America is a collective effort to understand how we got to this point and what can be done about it. Assembled by the sociologist Eric Klinenberg as well as the editors of the online magazine Public Books, Caitlin Zaloom and Sharon Marcus, it offers essays from many of the nation’s leading scholars, experts on topics including race, religion, gender, civil liberties, protest, inequality, immigration, climate change, national security, and the role of the media. Antidemocracy in America places our present in international and historical context, considering the worldwide turn toward authoritarianism and its varied precursors. Each essay seeks to inform our understanding of the fragility of American democracy and suggests how to protect it from the buried contradictions that Trump’s victory brought into public view.
Antidemocracy in America is essential reading for understanding the deep divisions within American society, which are not new and have led us to this critical moment in U.S. political culture. Alondra Nelson, author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome
This book offers readers more than respite from the relentless buzz of tweets, shares, and posts that overcrowd our daily consciousness; it supplies a beneficial point of departure for thinking critically about the direction of our political life in these challenging times. Antidemocracy in America is thoughtfully curated and insightful. Anthony S. Chen, author of The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941-1972
Introduction: The Big Picture, by Eric Klinenberg
Part I. The Crisis: Where We Are
Resource Extraction, by Michelle Wilde Anderson
Confronting Manhood After Trump, by Lisa Wade
Predatory Real Estate, by Thomas J. Sugrue
The Misinformation Society, by Victor Pickard
Defending Open Cities, by Saskia Sassen
Criminalizing Immigrants, by Alina Das
Trump, Trade, and War, by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro
Rule by Misrule, by Richard Sennett
School of Trump, by Pedro Noguera
Trump on Twitter: How a Medium Designed for Democracy Became an Authoritarian’s Mouthpiece, by Fred Turner
Trump’s Attack on Knowledge, by Craig Calhoun
Part II. The Collapse: How We Got Here
The Devastated House of Labor, by Margaret Levi
Unholy Alliances, by Shamus Khan
Coalthink, by Gretchen Bakke
Violence and Criminal Justice, by Patrick Sharkey
Women Voters, Left and Right, by Linda Gordon
The Office of the Presidency, by Robert Shrum
Religion and the Republic, by Philip Gorski
Evangelical Voters, by Tanya Marie Luhrmann
Gun Culture, by Harel Shapira
Black Women and the FBI, by Ashley Farmer
Confederate Revisionist History, by Douglas S. Massey
Trump’s Charisma, by Steven Lukes
Unequal America, by Michelle Jackson and David B. Grusky
Part III. The Solutions: What We Can Do
Working-Class Environmentalism, by Daniel Aldana Cohen
Defending Society, by Wendy Brown
Protest, Violent and Nonviolent, by Judith Butler
Social Solidarity, by Michele Lamont
“The Parliament of Bodies”, by Jack Halberstam
The Right Type of Citizenship, by Jefferson Cowie
Multiracial Cooperation, by William Julius Wilson
List of Contributors

About the Author

Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. His most recent book is Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (2018).

Caitlin Zaloom is associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University. She is the author of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London (2006) and Indebted: How Families Make College Work At Any Cost (2019) and cofounder and coeditor in chief of Public Books.

Sharon Marcus is Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England (2007) and The Drama of Celebrity (2019) and cofounder and coeditor in chief of Public Books.