Written by one of America's leading political thinkers, this is a book about the good, the bad, and the ugly of identity politics. Amy Gutmann rises above the raging polemics that often characterize discussions of identity groups and offers a fair-minded assessment of the role they play in democracies.
In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson connect the rejection of compromise to the domination of campaigning over governing - the permanent campaign - in American democracy today. They show that campaigning for political office calls for a mindset that blocks compromise - standing tenaciously on principle to mobilize voters and mistrusting opponents in order to defeat them. Good government calls for an opposite cluster of attitudes and arguments - the compromising mindset - that inclines politicians to adjust their principles and to respect their opponents.