Item description for Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters and Other Selected Essays by Farai Chideya...
In these provocative pieces, Farai Chideya looks at and beyond the daily political struggles to the heart of a nation at war with itself. The 2000 election highlighted the rift between liberal/conservative and Red State/Blue State. But that superficial crack, says Chideya, indicates much more serious, indeed foundational, damage. The United States, she argues, lacks the moral, legal, and psychological framework for debating complex issues in a pluralistic society, relying instead on an outdated dichotomy model that says each issue has two opposing sides instead of many interested parties. Covering recent and current campaigns and controversies, Chideya skips the easy answers, showing how black-and-white thinking (a key element of the Bush administration) stifles our moral and political responses. Topics include the War on Drugs, prisons, the Bush tax cuts, and, on a hopeful note, the silver lining of the 2000 presidential election.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Aug 25, 2004
Publisher Soft Skull Press
ISBN 1932360263 ISBN13 9781932360264
Availability 0 units.
More About Farai Chideya
Farai Chideya is an ABC News correspondent who covers a range of issues from youth to race to politics and the author of the highly acclaimed book Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation about African Americans. She is a contributor to Time and to Vibe, which covers urban issues and culture. Chideya has been a writer at MTV News, a CNN political analyst, and a reporter for Newsweek. She lives in New York City.
Farai Chideya currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters and Other Selected Essays?
Not quite as billed Jan 17, 2006
Ms. Chideya's writing is clear and engaging. It is also well-informed, although occasionally venturing into hysterical overstatement - e.g., labelling the Presidential Election of 2000 "A Devastating Blow to American Democracy." And the book contains some interesting material: A good historical sketch of our evolution toward universal suffrage (or what passes for it); a listing of and commentary on the responses of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls debate in 2003 (which Ms. Chideya moderated) to her question, "What is your favorite song?"; an appendix of information on voting in each of the 50 states and DC.
Unfortunately, Ms. Chideya is writing with a heavily biased agenda, most colorfully expressed on page 91: "The only thing worse than having a marvelous booty call, only to find that the person you're waking up next to is a Republican, is finding out that one of your best friends so loathes the political system that she has not voted and will not vote." (I also enjoyed her description of the editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal as "patently insane" - p. 165.)
In other words, under the veneer of caring about American Democracy and the effect of non-voters on it in a broad sense, her true concern is that the particular agenda she would like our government to follow is frustrated because so many of its/her natural constiutuents don't vote. Such a bias is to be expected if one is writing as a politician or political advocate, but not if one is posing as an objective commentator.
Ms. Chideya also diminishes her credibility by engaging in victim-speak, e.g., asserting that "Half of [eligible] voters have been shut out from the get-go", and stating without meaningful evidence that Bush won the 2000 election due to widespread and systematic intimidation and disenfranchisement of minorities.
In short, the members of Ms. Chideya's choir are likely to extol her preaching. Others may enjoy her writing, and may learn something, but are unlikely to be persuaded to change their views or actions by anything in this book. Those looking for a serious analysis of voting and non-voting patterns in the U.S. should look elsewhere.
A Wake Up Call Oct 25, 2004
America is often called the home of the free and the land of the brave. Free - what is this really? Does our political democratic structure provide these freedoms which we've come to recognize and seemingly take for granted? As Americans, there seems to be a prevailing sense of cynicism clouding our thoughts of the whole democratic process. In her book, TRUST, political analyst Farai Chideya delves into engaging discussions regarding the prevailing political climate that is blanketing America.
The United States of America is a dominating powerhouse in the world arena when it comes to international policy; yet, within our own borders less than half of the qualifying electorate does not vote. This equates to approximately 100 million Americans. That is 100 million people who are unwilling, whatever the reason, to stand up and be heard during the upcoming Presidential election. In her essays, Chideya digs into the historical past of America's political structure, prevailing sentiments and offers candid, flowing commentary based on her observations.
With the 2000 presidential election, recent history is a prime example that each and every vote counts. Chideya states, "American democracy is highly overrated, not necessarily in concept, but in its execution." Chideya is urging for a dynamic change to take place within our current political structure and within the Black community - the commonly disenfranchised voters require a confident resurgence in exercising their own basic rights. In Chideya's opinion, this reinvigoration will take place only by "rebuilding people's trust in government and their trust to shape it."
All in all, Ms. Chideya offers very timely, easy-to-understand commentary regarding mostly the political structure of the United States. This type of book does not hail from my usually preferred genre, yet the essays captured my attention and provided me with a deeper understanding of some very relevant current day situations within our political structure. Anyone seeking greater knowledge and sound opinion, should definitely check out TRUST.