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

April 8, 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

The Myth of Voter Fraud

June 7, 2010
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Allegations that widespread voter fraud is threatening to the integrity of American elections and American democracy itself have intensified since the disputed 2000 presidential election. The claim that elections are being stolen by illegal immigrants and unscrupulous voter registration activists and vote buyers has been used to persuade the public that voter malfeasance is of greater concern than structural inequities in the ways votes are gathered and tallied, justifying ever tighter restrictions on access to the polls. Yet, that claim is a myth.

A Presidency in Peril

March 10, 2010
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"In A Presidency in Peril, Robert Kuttner explores how and why Candidate Obama's audacity of hope morphed into President Obama's timidity of governing—from his deferential treatment of Wall Street to his misguided attachment to the fantasy of bipartisanship.

Creative Community Organizing

February 8, 2010
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Creative Community Organizing is a self-teaching guide for activists and organizers based on Si Kahn’s experiences in the Southern Civil Rights Movement, the Brookside Strike by the UMWA, and the Grassroots Leadership’s campaigns to stop the privatization of the Shelby County jail in Memphis and to abolish immigrant family detention.  The book also includes reflections on the roles of history and culture in progressive social change efforts.