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.
Herbert J. Gans is Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Columbia University.