The Secret Lives of Citizens: Pursuing the Promise of American Life

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In this witty combination of memoir and observation, Thomas Geoghegan addresses the widespread cynicism about our government and explores what it means to be a national civil servant and a local citizen. This is unlike any public-policy book I've ever read: part Catcher in the Rye, part The Road to Wigan Pier, part The Federalist Papers, it is mesmerizing, rueful, painfully honest, and never, ever dull. Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test Extraordinary. It has the essential trait of a memorable book, in that after reading it you look at daily life in a lastingly different way. James Fallows, author of Breaking the News [Geoghegan] has written a book that is not only compelling to read but that provokes us to seriously reflect on the choices we make and how we spend our time. Jonathan Coleman, Washington Post Book World Geoghegan's language is playful. . . . Personal reminiscence mixing with historical anecdote, dipping into complex themes . . . shifting from wistful nostalgia to dark comedy. Robert B. Reich, New York Times Book Review A truly strange and wonderful book. William Finnegan