Demos Books

Thought leadership and the power of ideas often gain the most currency, and help shape the debate, through the form a book. Recognizing this, we have established the Demos book project, which helps fellows, staff and partner organizations develop their ideas into compelling proposals, manuscripts and finally into published works. In partnership with leading publishing houses, Demos helps authors build a broadcast, print, social media and event platform that elevates their arguments into the public and policy realms.

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Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over

April 29, 2015
Most Americans think that our country has done quite a lot to protect women and ensure gender equity in the workplace. After all, we have banned discrimination against women, required equal pay for equal work, and adopted family-leave legislation. But the fact is that we have a two-tiered system, where some working women have a full panoply of rights while others have few or none at all. We allow blatant discrimination by small employers. Domestic workers are cut out of our wage and overtime laws. Part-time workers, disproportionately women, are denied basic benefits.

Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

October 15, 2014
From Demos Senior Fellow and longtime New York Times columnist Bob Herbert comes a wrenching portrayal of ordinary Americans struggling for survival in a nation that has lost its way

Angels by the River

November 5, 2014
Angels by the River follows James Gustave Speth’s unlikely path—from Southern boyhood to his career as an influential mainstream environmentalist to his current system-changing activism. In this compelling memoir, Speth explores the issues, and realities, that have shaped the nation since the 1950s, and that turned an “ultimate insider” into someone willing to be arrested in front of the White House.

All the Presidents' Bankers: The Alliances that Drive American Power

April 8, 2014
All the Presidents’ Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history. Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents’ Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics—or greed driving bankers.

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

January 13, 2014
Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president. 

Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

April 29, 2013
One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today’s financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government—“austerity”—is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe’s, now in its fifth year.

America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

September 25, 2012
In this third volume of his award-winning American Crisis series, James Gustave Speth makes his boldest and most ambitious contribution yet. He looks unsparingly at the sea of troubles in which the United States now finds itself, charts a course through the discouragement and despair commonly felt today, and envisions what he calls America the Possible, an attractive and plausible future that we can still realize.

The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans' Right to Vote

August 18, 2012
The Politics of Voter Suppression arrives in time to assess actual practices at the polls this fall and to reengage with debates about voter suppression tactics such as requiring specific forms of identification. Tova Andrea Wang examines the history of how U.S. election reforms have been manipulated for partisan advantage and establishes a new framework for analyzing current laws and policies.

What the U.S. Can Learn From China

January 11, 2012
While America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, a high unemployment rate, and a surge in government debt, China’s economy is the second largest in the world and many predict will surpass the U.S. by 2020. President Obama called China’s rise “a Sputnik moment”—will America seize this moment or continue to treat China as its scapegoat?

Black Tuesday

October 21, 2011
Leila Khan is a beautiful, enterprising immigrant, struggling to find her purpose in a tumultuous America. Her Wall Street diner job introduces her to banker, Roderick Morgan – a haunted alcoholic controlled by his ruthless uncle, bank mogul Jack Morgan. As Leila and Roderick’s flirtations deepen into an illicit affair, Leila becomes a marked woman in more ways than one.

The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

September 22, 2011
Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound.

The Oxford Handbook of Civil Society

August 18, 2011
In the past two decades, '"civil society" has become a central organizing concept in the social sciences. Occupying the middle ground between the state and private life, the civil sphere encompasses everything from associations to protests to church groups to nongovernmental organizations.

Tropic Of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

May 1, 2011

An investigative journalist’s tough analysis of how some of the world’s most vulnerable states—those with a history of economic and political disasters—are confronting the new crisis of climate change.

Next Generation Democracy

November 9, 2010
The challenges of the twenty-first century are of an unprecedented scale. Climate change, financial instability, the housing crisis, the need for health care-all of these are political issues that could be managed with ease if they were occurring on a much smaller scale. But with a huge global population and inextricable connections between the issues, our old tools for change look increasingly blunt. Many of the large bodies we once appointed to manage our common problems-including national governments- have begun to fail at critical moments.

Fortunes of Change

August 9, 2010
In his new book, Demos co-founder and senior fellow David Callahan contends that something big is happening among the rich in America: they're drifting to the left. When Callahan set out to write a book on the new upper class, he expected to profile a greedy and reactionary elite-the robber barons of a second Gilded Age. Instead, he discovered something else. While many of the rich still back a GOP that stands against taxes and regulation, liberalism is spreading fast among the wealthy.