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WILMINGTON, NC, January 20, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Author Brian Aull has been chosen as a winner in the '50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading' Book Awards for 2016. His book, 'The Triad: Three Civic Virtues That Could Save American Democracy', offers solutions to the problems that threaten American democracy. At the same time, it takes a fresh look at issues that have traditionally divided liberals from conservatives.
The best books on politics sometimes come from authors who are not "experts." 'The Triad', authored by an engineer, is a case in point. Aull offers a vision of what a healthy democracy looks like, and proposes practical steps that citizens can take to get us there. He advocates three civic virtues, which he calls service, learning, and community building. Civic engagement based on these virtues is the key to changing the perverse incentives that lead to bitter partisanship, media bias, and political corruption.
"This award has once again given me the opportunity to make a difference and help move America forward," Aull stated. "I wrote The Triad because I had witnessed public life in the United States steadily deteriorate for 30 years. We now see our country bitterly divided, our public discourse debased, our institutions dysfunctional, and our level of trust low. What is the underlying cause of this decline? What do we need to do better? It boils down to active citizenship based on these core virtues."
Aull points out that the 2016 election shows the symptoms of the problem. "After a prolonged media circus, the major parties nominated two candidates that were widely distrusted. In the final election, voter turnout hit a 20-year low. More voters sat it out than voted for either candidate. 'None of the above' won the popular vote."
"But," Aull also says, "the amount of voter discontent may be a hopeful sign. This was the first presidential election I can remember in which political corruption was a motivating issue for many voters across the ideological spectrum. 2016 was a year of populist sentiment, where many voters rebelled against 'establishment politicians.' The dictionary defines a populist as a 'believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people.'
"Populism has promise. Common people, for example, could build a popular movement to clean up corruption in government and elevate the level of ethics, transparency, and responsiveness to the common good.
"Populism also has dangers. In many countries, dictators have risen to power through populist appeals. They often scapegoated certain segments of society. Rather than calling forth the wisdom or virtues of common people, they played on their fears and aroused hatred. It's all too easy to think of examples of this and how badly they turned out.
"How, then, can we redeem the promise of populism and avoid the danger? That is the subject of 'The Triad', a new and updated edition of which will come out next month. The Triad is about the civic virtues that make the difference. The United States is a republic, which has to do with what its citizens do every two years when they go to the polls. But there are people working to create democracy, which has to do with what citizens do between elections. As an example, the book cites a case in which a diverse group of residents of a small town in the deep South worked together to create unity and revitalize the local economy. When I speak of 'democracy,' then, I'm referring to this kind of strengthening of locally rooted civic life."
Aull also stresses the importance of education. "A longer-term goal is to strengthen social studies and civics education in the schools. This is not just learning about government or history, but also hands-on civic problem solving such as organizing and facilitating town meetings on local issues. If we want better government, then we need to raise up new generations of active citizens with civic participation skills and an understanding of science, history, and the wider world."
'The Triad' is not another book about politics. While other books about politics or political science study the system's failures, Aull's book proposes actions to promote the renewal of democratic life in the United States.
'The Triad' has received praise from a number of reviewers. Terrence Metz, Founding Principle and Partner at Morgan Madison and Company said the book is, "A wonderful approach about how to live in a democracy . . . any democracy." Peter Levine at Tufts University stated that 'The Triad' is "movingly and impressively written." Badi Foster of Northwestern's Buffett Institute said that the book "helps us have the kinds of conversations that heal rather than divide the nation."
Brian Aull is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 'The Triad' is available at Amazon. More information is available at his website at http://www.AwakenDemocracy.com.
Brian Aull is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He studied electrical engineering at Purdue University and then at MIT, earning his Ph.D. in 1985. Since then, he has worked as a staff scientist at MIT developing solid-state image sensors. He is also a passionate educator, teaching electrical engineering courses at Tufts University. He spent one year as a visiting professor at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.
A resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, he is active in the local community. He served on the boards of the Cambridge Peace Commission and the Coalition for a Strong United Nations. He has taught spiritual education classes for children living in Cambridge. The Triad was inspired in part by his many conversations with residents and local activists.
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