The United States is a nation whose identity is defined by the idea of democracy. Yet democracy in the U.S. is often taken for granted, narrowly understood, and rarely critically examined. In Democracy as a Way of Life in America, Schneirov and Fernandez show that, much more than a static legacy from the past, democracy is a living process that informs all aspects of American life. The authors trace the story of American democracy from the revolution to the present, showing how democracy has changed over time, and the challenges it has faced. They examine themes including individualism, foreign policy, the ecomy, and the environment, and reveal how democracy has been deeply involved in these throughout the country's history. Democracy as a Way of Life in America demonstrates that democracy is t simply a set of institutions or practices such as the right to vote or competing political parties, but a complex, multi-dimensional phemen, whose animating spirit can be found in every part of American culture and society. This vital and engaging narrative should be read by students of history, political science, and anyone who wants to understand the nature of American democracy.
Richard Schneirov is Professor of History at Indiana State University. He is the author of many books, including Chicago in the Age of Capital: Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction with John B. Jentz. Gaston A. Fernandez is Professor of Political Science at Indiana State University.