Friday, September 4, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 You Call This Democracy?

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Elizabeth Rusch has created a wonderful guide to our political system and where it can use an update. Each chapter addresses a different aspect in need of reform such as the way voting districts are drawn, how voter registration is handled, or the influence of large campaign donations by special-interest groups and corporations. Real-life examples of problems are given for each topic. Readers can learn the details of how a woman was stricken from the voter registration list after her home was incorrectly listed as a vacant lot, or how women who run for office are asked questions about their hair or clothes rather than their political views.

Each chapter ends with suggestions on how readers may get involved and work to solve the problems. There are also plenty of infographics to illustrate the disparity between the number of women in our country versus the number of women in office and other statistics. A list for further reading in the back matter includes both books and websites, and there are extensive source notes.

Anyone wishing to learn more about election reform and the groups trying to move us from a democratic republic to a true democracy could learn quite a bit from this book. The companion website offers even more information and ways to get involved. Readers can even check to see how their own state scores on the various issues.

This book was published in March and would work well for social studies or government classes in middle or high school.

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