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'Democracy in One Book or Less'

Written by Janet Donovan & Liz Sizer

Former Obama speechwriter David Litt held a book party at Comet Ping Pong to launch the publication of his latest book: Democracy In One Book Or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think. While the party was virtual for all guests, the author was at the restaurant in person, broadcasting from the normally packed Ping Pong dining room, while host James Alefantis (Chef & Owner) joined the call from outside the storefront where he was overseeing a bustling takeout dinner service.

Book synopsis:

“Bill Bryson meets Thomas Frank in this deeply insightful, unexpectedly hilarious story of how politicians hijacked American democracy and how we can take it back. The democracy you live in today is different—completely different—from the democracy you were born into. You probably don’t realize just how radically your republic has been altered during your lifetime. Yet more than any policy issue, political trend, or even Donald Trump himself, our redesigned system of government is responsible for the peril America faces today. What explains the gap between what We, the People want and what our elected leaders do? How can we fix our politics before it’s too late? And how can we truly understand the state of our democracy without wanting to crawl under a rock? That’s what former Obama speechwriter David Litt set out to answer.Poking into forgotten corners of history, translating political science into plain English, and traveling the country to meet experts and activists, Litt explains how the world’s greatest experiment in democracy went awry. (He also tries to crash a party at Mitch McConnell’s former frat house. It goes poorly.) The result of Litt’s journey is something you might not have thought possible: a page-turner about the political process. You’ll meet the Supreme Court justice charged with murder, learn how James Madison’s college roommate broke the Senate, encounter a citrus thief who embodies what’s wrong with our elections, and join Belle the bill as she tries to become a law (a quest far more harrowing than the one in Schoolhouse Rock!). Yet despite his clear-eyed assessment of the dangers we face, Litt remains audaciously optimistic. He offers a to-do list of bold yet achievable changes—a blueprint for restoring the balance of power in America before it’s too late.” HarperCollins Publishers

As nearly 100 guests dialed in to the Zoom call, Litt and Alefantis bantered about current events and how much things had changed since their last book party together for Litt’s 2017 memoir: Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.