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In the spirit of great utopian writing that dares to hope for a better world, Imagining America in 2033 takes place in a fictional yet achievable future America—a time when progressive, liberal ideals inform politics and citizens alike.
At the heart of Herbert J. Gans's utopian narrative is the vision of progress with fairness on which the best of American idealism has been built. Part utopia, part realism, Imagining America in 2033 is also a liberal's dream of life after Bush and a set of progressive yet practical guidelines for restoring sanity and intelligence to nearly every aspect of public and political life post-Bush.
Herbert J. Gans, one of the most influential and prolific sociologists and social commentators of our time, achieves a realistic utopia set mostly in the second and third decades of the century. In Gans's imagined future, elected officials, policymakers, activists, and citizens have transformed America into a much more humane and effective democracy. The book features three Democratic presidents; the major new domestic, foreign, and social policies their administrations pursue; and the political battles they fight.
Gans provides chapters on an exhaustive list of social, political, and economic policy issues: jobs; war; tax reform; global warming; economic, racial, gender, and religious equality; family policies; the creation of affordable housing and energy saving communities; education reform; and more. While hopeful and idealistic, many of Gans's proposals—such as the concept of the nurse-doctor, in which nurses increasingly take on tasks previously handled only by medical doctors within a framework of national health care—are ideas innovative enough that they should be taken seriously by actual policymakers.
Imagining America in 2033 is lively and accessible, with an appeal for general readers, policy hounds, and the politically savvy alike.
"Just when the dark clouds of endless war and economic crisis seem to be enveloping the United States, Herbert Gans gives us a thoughtful and nuanced book-length speculation that shows a future America moving rationally and with goodwill to cope with its problems. Not another novel about utopia, but a lively and readable book about how the United States could become a more just and sustainable society."
—Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center
"A great read! Fun and totally serious all at once. Herb Gans's never-failing insight gives us an optimistic vision that is both imaginative and highly plausible. The rest is up to us!"
—Peter Edelman, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
"Herbert Gans relies on his extraordinary sociological imagination to fast-forward American society to a future that seems to have worked out better than we might have thought possible!"
—Katherine Newman, Forbes Class of '41 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
"Herb Gans writes about our future in the same thoughtful, provocative manner in which he's discussed our past and present."
—Barney Frank, Congressman representing the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts
"One of our most eminent original thinkers yet again deploys his professional skill to improve public possibilities. Applying sustained reason to fundamental domestic and global problems, this fascinating and lucid 'realistic utopia' offers a bracing challenge to citizens and policymakers. Will we utilize tools of planning, policy, and social study in the next quarter-century to pursue more decent, more equal, more peaceful, and more democratic schools, workplaces, communities, political institutions, and international relations?"
—Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
"Herbert Gans's Imagining America in 2033 boldly lays down a serious radical-liberal marker in the necessary fight to rethink America's future."
—Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland and author of America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy
"We live in an era of deep pessimism about the possibility of a more just and humane world, and this pessimism itself reduces the possibilities of bringing about such a world. Herbert Gans' Imagining America in 2033 is a thought-provoking challenge to such pessimism, filled with interesting ideas and plausible scenarios about how such a world could come to be."
—Erik Olin Wright, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
"In this well-written and engaging book, Herbert J. Gans uses his creative sociological and social policy insights to lay out a compelling scenario that could lead to hope, not despair, as we contemplate America's future. This is an incredibly timely publication for those citizens who feel they have experienced an eight-year nightmare under George W. Bush."
—William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
"An unusual futurist approach is taken in the new book, Imagining America in 2033: How the Country Put Itself Together after Bush, A Utopian Narrative. Gans discusses seven different election cycles, 2008-2032, and outlines how politics will change and go into a more progressive direction...he writes with clarity and has an innovative vision for a whole range of pertinent policy questions that will no doubt be looked at seriously by law and policy-makers."
—Eric L. Miller, President of the National Association of Independent Publishers Representatives
Copyright © 2008, Herbert J. Gans. All rights reserved.