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Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force in Civic Dialogue. Bacon, Barbara Schaffer, Cheryl Yuen and Pam Korza. 1999. Americans for the Arts.

This report reveals pivotal and innovating roles that the arts can play in the renewal of civic dialogue as well as challenges faced by arts and cultural organizations as they engage in this work. Download at

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Putnam, Robert D. 2000. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and our democratic structures - and how we may reconnect. Putnam warns that our stock of social capital - the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities. But America has civicly reinvented itself before, and can do it again.

Bridging the Racial Divide. Du Bois, Paul Martin and Jonathan Hutson. 1997. Brattleboro, VT: Center for Living Democracy.

Includes lessons, tips and success stories from 65 intergroup dialogues across the country, plus an annotated reading list of resources.

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. Kretzmann, John P and John L. McKnight. 1993. Evanston, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research.

This book includes a step-by-step description of asset-based community development, a strengths-based approach for identifying and building upon the human resources that are already present in any community.

By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections. Gastil, John. 2000. University of California Press.

Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public.

Civic Index: Measuring Your Community's Civic Health, 2nd Edition. 1999. The National Civic League.

This revised edition of the Civic Index is a 12-point community self-evaluation tool. The Civic Index assesses what the National Civic League calls civic infrastructure (the characteristics that communities possess to effectively solve problems). Whether the challenges being faced are economic development, low-income housing, transportation planning or any other, the healthy functioning of the 12 components of the Civic Index is vital for success.

Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy and the Movement for Civic Renewal. Sirianni, Carmen and Lewis Friedland. 2001.

This book is a scholarly examination of the civic renewal movement that has emerged in the United States in recent decades. In contrast to some recent studies that stress broad indicators of civic decline, this study analyzes innovation as a long process of social learning within specific institutional and policy domains with complex challenges and cross-currents. The study is based upon interviews with more than 400 innovative practitioners, as well as extensive field observation, case study, action research and historical analysis.

A Community Builder's Tool Kit: 15 Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities. 2001. Anti-Racism Initiative of the Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change.

This primer for revitalizing democracy from the ground up can be downloaded for free or ordered for $1.50 per copy from

Community Resource Manual. 1997. Richmond, VA: Hope in the Cities.

This manual taps into the powerful grassroots movement to heal racial division through community-based dialogue. Focuses on a proven process emphasizing honest words and effective action by teams of people of all races, many faiths and diverse political views. Offers case studies and specific principles that can be adapted by dialogue organizers to meet local needs. $30. Email [email protected] or call 804-358-1764 for ordering info.

Creating the Commonwealth. Boyte, Harry C., Nancy N. Kari, Jim Lewis, Nan Skelton and Jennifer O'Donoghue. 1999. The Kettering Foundation.

The authors had two purposes in this study of conceptual organizing and public work: to explore the potential impact of political concepts in three settings, all concerned in different ways with education for democracy, and to examine what impact the experiences of public work might have on individuals and institutional cultures. Their work helped to clarify the obstacles facing democratic renewal, as well as resources and experiences on which democratic renewal efforts can draw.

Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform.
Fishkin, James S. 1997. Yale University Press.

Fishkin makes an important proposal to reform the U. S. presidential nomination process. He supports the proposal with a concise, intelligent discussion of democratic theory, emphasizing the importance of genuine deliberation versus transient, media-generated public opinion. The book centers on the idea of a National Issues Convention ? a televised caucus in which a representative sample of voters meet face-to-face with presidential contenders in order to reflect and vote on the issues and the candidates.

Democratic Education in an Age of Difference: Redefining Citizenship in Higher Education. Guarasci, Richard and Grant Cornwell. 1997. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book addresses the need for colleges and universities to design educational experiences that promote the objectives of a free society while recognizing and embracing difference. The authors detail some of the experiments taking place across American campuses and reveal how each approach fosters the development of democratic sensibility, citizenship skills and multicultural appreciation.

Developing Competency to Manage Diversity. Cox, Taylor and Ruby Beale. 1997. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Building on Taylor Cox's acclaimed book, Cultural Diversity in Organizations, this companion volume provides managers with the tools they need to successfully manage a diverse workforce.

Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation. Ellinor, Linda and Glenna Gerard. 1998. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ellinor and Gerard draw upon their combined 50 years of experience in organizations to show how dialogue can change the way we work by widening information arteries so that employees at every level begin to think along "leadership" lines and take responsibility for how their actions affect the whole organization. Leading companies including Levi Strauss, Shell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and AT&T are unleashing the wellspring of power that flows naturally from the trust, mutual respect and spirit of inquiry that are at dialogue's core.

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. Isaacs, William N. 1999. New York, NY: Currency.

Isaacs is a colleague of organizational learning guru Peter Senge (who wrote the introduction) and one of the founders of MIT's Organizational Learning Center. He also directed MIT's Dialogue Project, on which this book is based. Isaacs argues that organizational learning cannot take place without successful dialogue. For more info, go to

Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms. Brookfield, S. D. and S. Preskill. 1999. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Includes a variety of practical ideas, tools and techniques for creating democratic classrooms. The authors suggest exercises to get discussion started, strategies for maintaining its momentum, ways to elicit a diversity of views and voices, ideas for creative groupings and formats, and processes to encourage student participation. In exploring the role of the teacher in discussion, they address the tensions and possibilities arising from ethnic, cultural, social class and gender differences.

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. Senge, Peter, Art Kleiner, Charlotte Roberts, Richard B. Ross, and Bryan J. Smith. 1994. New York, NY: Doubleday.

While "The Fifth Discipline" laid out the principles particularly applicable to long-term organizational improvement, the Fieldbook clearly describes how to get started in the practice of the principles of organizational learning, reflecting not just one person's theory, but the experience and reflection of an entire community of practitioners. Senge promotes dialogue as an important tool for promoting team learning and fostering shared meaning and community within an organization.

Healing Into Action: A Leadership Guide for Creating Diverse Communities. Brown, Cherie R. and George J. Mazza. 1997. National Coalition Building Institute.

A manual containing a collection of simple, common-sense principles that can be put into practice immediately to deal with diversity and leadership issues in any community, corporation, trade union, academic, religious and political setting.

Intergroup Dialogue: Deliberative Democracy in School, College, Community and Workplace. Schoem, David and Sylvia Hurtado (editors). 2001. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

This book presents twelve case studies of leading intergroup dialogue programs from higher education, K-12, community and corporate settings, as well as a comprehensive discussion of the theory and practice of the field. To order, call UM Press at 734-764-4392 or go to

The Magic of Dialogue. Yankelovich, Daniel. 1999. Simon and Schuster.

The author is the co-founder of Public Agenda, an organization which helps policy makers better understand the public's point of view on major policy issues while helping citizens better understand critical policy issues so they can make their own more informed and thoughtful decisions. Public Agenda's conversation process and materials present issues in a nonpartisan and stimulating way.

Multicultural Teaching in the University. Schoem, David and Linda Frankel, Ximena Zuniga, Edith Lewis. 1995. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Rather than representing a homogeneous view of multicultural teaching, this volume reflects the debate and dialogue that surround the issue. This book integrates new scholarship that reflects a more expansive notion of knowledge, and suggests new ways to communicate with diverse populations of students.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion. Rosenberg, Marshall. 1999. PuddleDancer Press.

NVC is an approach that can be effectively applied at all levels of communication and in diverse situations from self-talk to international politics. The NVC model for communications includes: observing, without judgment, actions that effect our well-being; stating our feelings as we observe the action; saying what needs, values, desires are connected to the feelings; and requesting the concrete actions we would like.

On Dialogue. Bohm, David (Lee Nichol, Editor). 1996. Routledge: New York, NY.

David Bohm was one of the greatest physicists and foremost thinkers of this century. This revised and expanded edition is the most comprehensive documentation to date of David Bohm's dialogical world view.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire, Paulo. 1970 (revised 1996).

The thought and work of Paulo Freire has had a fundamental impact in the field of education and on the overall struggle for national development in the South. In this landmark account, first published over 20 years ago, Paulo Freire argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the systems of economic, social and political domination.

Politics for People: Finding a Responsible Public Voice, Second Edition. Mathews, David. 1999. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Drawing on the practical experience of a wide variety of civic groups, David Mathews explores how individuals and communities can create a politics relevant to their everyday lives. This second edition of Mathews' work includes a new chapter on the National Issues Forums, convened in settings ranging from libraries to churches to prisons to promote greater public involvement in politics.

A Public Peace Process. Saunders, Harold. 1999. NY: Palgrave.

Harold Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State and negotiator of the Camp David Accords and now Director of International Programs at the Kettering Foundation, distills over 35 years of experience working with conflicts across the globe. This book describes how sustained dialogue can help conflicting groups of citizens move toward resolution.

The Quickening of America: Rebuilding our Nation, Remaking our Lives. Lappe, Frances Moore and Paul Martin Du Bois. 1994. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers.

This book reveals how a new citizen-driven approach to solving community problems is working - in local government, education, the workplace, human services and the media. The authors criss-crossed America in search of democracy in action and found moving stories of ordinary people coming together to make their institutions meet their needs.

Reconciliation, Justice, and Coexistence: Theory and Practice. Abu-Nimer, Mohammed. 2001. Lexington Books.

Abu-Nimer provides lessons and insights for post-settlement peacebuilders. Essays focus on the conflict dynamics in regions such as Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine, South Africa and Rwanda.

Society's Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People. Rough, Jim. 2002. 1stBooks.

This book suggests that the U.S. adopt a Citizens Constitutional Amendment which says: Each year, 24 registered voters will be randomly selected in a lottery to form a Citizens Wisdom Council. This Wisdom Council will be a symbol of the people of the United States. With the aid of a dynamic facilitator, the group will meet for one week to choose issues, talk about them and determine consensus statements.

Steps Toward an Inclusive Community. Potapchuk, Maggie. 2001. Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies.

The book begins with the story of how Clarksburg, WV responded to a KKK rally by conducting a counter-rally which, in turn, led to the Clarksburg Unity Project. The latter part of the book includes a tool to help predominately white, moderate-sized towns assess their process of becoming inclusive. It also includes suggestions for next steps based on a community's current inclusivity stage. Go to for more information or to order.

Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics For A New Age. Barber, Benjamin. 1984. University of California Press.

Barber offers liberal society a new way of thinking about and of practicing democracy.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. Adams, Maurianne, Lee Bell, Pat Griffin. 1997. NY: Routledge.

This sourcebook is aimed at educators working in the field of social justice education. It addresses theoretical and practical issues that confront teachers who introduce diversity and social justice issues in their classrooms.

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Last Updated:? November 11, 2002.