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Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers!: Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics

Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers!: Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics (Hardback)

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The level of vitriol in American politics has been rising with no end in sight. Terms like "evildoer," "war on terror," and "axis of evil" have become commonplace in our discussion of international politics. What ever happened to civil debate? Where has all this moralizing come from? And what harm has this new level of attack caused to democracy in America?

In this compelling and cogent account, Tom De Luca and John Buell chart the rise of what they rightly label as the "demonization"of American politics, showing how political campaigns often neglect debates over policy in favor of fights over the private character and personal lives of politicians. Political interests are still served by this style of politics, but democracy, the authors contend, is the loser. Covering everything from the Clinton impeachment to the war on terrorism to the 2004 presidential campaign, the authors show the distinctly American qualities of demonization and how their frequency and intensity has grown in the last four decades.

Suggesting that demonization is not inevitable or irreversible, this important book offers ways out of the political mudpit and back to a more civilized debate where democracy and freedom of speech can coexist in a productive, idea-rich environment.

History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical activismArmed conflictPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesAnthropologySocial & cultural anthropology Publisher: New York University Press Publication Date: 01/08/2005 ISBN-13: 9780814719749  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

Tom De Luca is associate professor of political science at Fordham University and the author of The Two Faces of Political Apathy. He is the 2006 Fulbright Distinguished Thomas Jefferson Chair in American Social Studies at the University of Amsterdam. John Buell is a columnist for the Bangor Daily News and a former editor at The Progressive. He is also co-author of The End of Homework.

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