A collection of columns written by Nation publisher and editor vanden Heuvel (Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover, 2009, etc.) covering the run-up to the last presidential election and events since.
The pieces first appeared on the Nation website or the Washington Post blog, where the author is a guest columnist. They chronicle the six years from the 2006 congressional election, during which the high expectations of pro-Obama progressives gave way to the disappointment now felt by many of his erstwhile supporters. In the introduction, vanden Heuvel writes that she counters times when she becomes depressed by the current political stalemate by “taking the long view of [what Dr. King called the] arc of history that bends toward justice." While she is disappointed in President Obama's failure to deliver on his campaign promises, she writes that she still believes in his message that “real change comes about by 'imagining and then fighting and then working for what did not seem possible before.' " The book is divided topically, with each section arranged chronologically, and the author provides a useful record of the period and progressive talking points--during a time which, for progressive Democrats, represented a series of defeats. In a piece written in January 2011, vanden Heuvel takes the long view, comparing the present period to the end of the 19th century when the Progressive Movement succeeded in opposing large monopolies despite what seemed to be overwhelming odds.
A welcome contrast to the frequently overheated political dialogue of the moment.