RESPONSES FROM OTHERS:
WHO WE ARE:
RADICAL MIDDLE, THE BOOK:
SOME PRIOR BOOKS BY MARK SATIN:
CONTEXT (FROM WIKIPEDIA):
64 Press Clips (and Blog Snips)
. . . about Mark Satin’s book Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now (Westview / Perseus, 2004)
February 2004 - June 2005
"In the dark night of the soul, it is always four o'clock in the afternoon." Just-published book awaits author -- and audience -- and reviews -- at the fabled Cody's Books-Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA. Photo generously donated to this website by Ernest Prabhakar, founder of the Radical Centrism site.
rule: About 50 words per clip (or snip)
"Mark Satin has spent his life advocating for peace and social change.
While his values have remained constant, his strategies have evolved with life
experience. [Recently] he has helped lay the groundwork for a
radical centrism that may finally be taking hold in the U.S."
“Despite the occasional lapse, this book is
moderate in tone and intelligently reasoned -- shockingly so. . . . Satin has
identified an emergent political class, one that eschews ideology for
pragmatism. . . . [His] most provocative ideas combine a leftist concern for the
commonwealth with a conservative instinct for individual responsibility and
“Don’t vote in the November 2004 elections
until after you have read this book! . . . The agenda we [Cultural Creatives]
aspire to, the nuts and bolts of what defines the radical middle, are distilled
and explained in Mark Satin’s book. . . . We model more after Benjamin
Franklin than after New Age illusionists or antiglobalists. . . .”
“We’re in for a bruising political battle
between Kerry and Bush. . . . In the course of that, sensible solutions to the
nation’s worst problems will often be overlooked because of the ideological
blinders of each side. Satin’s book shows a way to a more humane, common-sense
politics. It’s already won praise from James Fallows and others."
“A reformed leftist -- that is, an older
leftist -- now stakes out an extreme position in the middle. . . . Here’s
another kind of public policy, not learned from Washington or Jefferson, but in
the mode of Ben Franklin. . . . [M]akes a lot more sense than . . . the many
braying pundits at the edges of the national parties.”
“Politics on the edges: is it time for the
middle to say, Enough? . . . It is time for the middle to flex its might! . . .
We are talking with the author of Radical Middle. . . . Mark joins us from
Washington DC where he works and makes his home. . . . I [found] the book very
interesting and very provocative. That’s why I wanted to have you on.”
“Radical Middle is one of the most refreshing
political books I’ve ever encountered. It [emphasizes] that change begins with
each of us. . . . Satin is the perfect antidote for the nastiness and attack dog
mentality of [pundits like] Ann Coulter. . . . [M]ust-reading for those who are
trying to find a ray of sanity in our present political climate.”
"We need more [liberal] smashmouth on
American talk radio to balance out the ideological spectrum. . . . I just think
we need some balance. . . . People aren't gonna listen, right away, to
super-centrist radio, like Mark Satin with his book Radical Middle.
That's something that we need to get to down the road."
“‘Turn off the O’Reilly Factor. Take Al
Franken’s book . . . back to the bookstore,’ writes Satin. . . . Here Satin
offers a ‘radical middle’ path with concrete policy suggestions -- including
universal health care that’s not government-run, affirmative action for the
economically disadvantaged of every race, and a financial nest egg for
“. . . . Does politics have to be this way?
No. According to Mark Satin, . . . largely outside the traditional social change
movement -- in the professions, in local communities, even in the U.S. Congress
-- caring people have begun coming up with creative, practical, and inclusive
new solutions [that] amount to a principled new politics.”
“Passionate, popularized, and personalized,
with frequent asides about Satin’s background in antiwar activism, new age
politics, and law school. Many ideas here, some familiar and some not. . . .
Mandatory national service . . . will surely infuriate the right, while [the
author’s] views of biotech . . . will turn off the left. . . . [A] fresh and
often original voice.
“Condemning what the author sees as the
divisive partisanship and polemical half-truths of liberals and conservatives
alike, this militant . . . manifesto urges left and right to unite behind a
‘politics of creative problem-solving.’ Satin, publisher of Radical Middle
Newsletter, aims to achieve great public purposes without aggrandizing
“Satin now believes . . . both left and right
have legitimate concerns [and we must create] a new synthesis. . . . From the
right he has absorbed the critique of big government and the recognition that
capitalism is more efficient than socialism. From the left he [has retained]
lifestyle freedom and extending opportunity across social classes.”
“He has also one of the -- excuse me, Mark, I
have to say it -- Zelig-like [personal] histories. . . . Mark arrived at the
radical middle having spent a deal of time on the outside [of society] -- well
on the outside -- [found] his way to law school, and from there he arrived at
the radical middle. . . . Your life is the story of the second half of the 20th
"A conference titled 'Declarations from Independents,' hosted by the
Kennedy School's student-run Independent Caucus[, featured] the author of Radical
Middle, Mark Satin; the former independent governor of Minnesota, Jesse
Ventura; and myself. [We were all] looking for a political alternative
that reflects the reality of life in the information age."
“At the suggestion of Paul (a friend in the
legislature), I’ve just finished reading the new book Radical Middle.by Mark
Satin. It’s an excellent book that discusses new ideas which creatively and
pragmatically use the best from both sides of the usual political divide. In
other words, this is not just a try at getting extremists to meet halfway.”
"Like his hero Ben Franklin, [Satin] uses
his . . . skills to shape the emerging consciousness of a nascent
movement. [I find his work] painfully refreshing. Refreshing because
it's grounded in common sense that's [also] visionary; painful, because it
reminds me just how shrill yet insipid is what passes for politics
“One of our readers wrote us recently that she
felt a spiritual approach should never emphasize a political viewpoint. . . .
But we see this differently. To us, politics is the sea we all swim in. . . .
Disengagement is itself a political stance. . . . [Our] Visionary Leader of the
Month [for May 2004 is] Mark Satin.”
“Satin . . . believes Americans are . . .
seeking a politics of creative problem solving. . . . The book is intended to
inform and energize [and includes many] suggestions to help readers implement
Radical Middle values in society. . . . . [R]ecommended as a positive
alternative for political science collections at both public and academic
NICE EXCERPT: "[T]he 'radical middle' ideas he champions
[include] universal access to private health insurance, a universal system of
national service, merit pay to attract and reward good teachers, stakeholder
grants to expand the 'ownership class.' . . . Satin does a good job in
laying out these 'third way' policies concisely, and his advocacy is more than
"I need to do things that will help me know
my country beyond any one person's or group's opinions and perspectives. I
need to honor both the good and bad things about the United States and how it is
in the world. As . . . political philosopher and activist Mark Satin says,
I need to avoid the extremes of right and left and find the 'radical middle,'
which is the title of his new book. I need to probe my own relationship
with my country and discover how mindful and deep that may be."
irritating Radical Middle is a timely clue to what gave liberalism a bad
name. . . . Satin
was for a few years a student radical, for a few years a blue-collar worker, and
for a much longer period a corporate banker [! -- certainly would have helped me
in the $$$ dep't -- M.S.]. That blend of insights allows him to perceive
obvious solutions to almost everything. . . . Why do so many liberal
preachments grate like glass shards on a blackboard? . . ."
"Mark Satin, a one-time radical leftist[, says]
there is a middle ground, comprised of people who want
reasonable change, rejecting left and right but combining what is best from both
ends of the spectrum. . . . It's time, he says, for a third way."
has appealed to me for a long time. More than 20 years ago, I picked up
his New Age Politics and immediately decided Satin was a certified
visionary. . . . [Radical Middle] starts with an overview of
Satin's intellectual journey. . . . I suspect Satin's . . . discovery of
the radical middle in American life has always been where most of us live."
Nader . . . is insistent that there is little difference between the Democrats
and the Republicans. Mark Satin . . . says the problem is that there ARE
great differences between the two parties. . . . Neither party
'speaks for the American people as a
whole,' he says."
"In American politics, we've had the
silent majority, the far left, the far right, the neo-cons, the ultra-liberals,
and now the radical middle. And just what is that? Earlier, I spoke
with Mark Satin, an attorney and [author of the book Radical Middle],
which aims to educate the American public about this new movement. . . ."
"Take a look at this significant new
book. [It] is a breath of fresh air in this negative [Presidential] campaign.
. . . The author [tells us] where all these radical
middle ideas are coming from: 'Overwhelmingly, they're coming from busy,
creative, and caring Americans like you and me.'"
think this is one of the most important reads of the last five years . . . and
it's easy to read."
"One champion of
independent politics has laid out a detailed set of policy proposals. Mark
Satin . . . says he draws his ideas from the best of what both the left and
right have to offer. [He] sees what he calls radical middle politics as an
innovation that's ideally suited to 21st century America."
pacifism are the luxury of . . . those who don't have to deal with the
challenging realities of practical governance. . . . Today's peace
movement might do well to take this message to heart, as they have tended toward
'rants against the Bush administration' combined with 'pacifist rhetoric,' as
political analyst Mark Satin puts it [in his book Radical Middle]."
"Mark Satin gives example after
example in his book about groups that are working to make a difference by
shedding the political, ideological divide that endangers us all. . . .
All of us at CodeBlueNow! decided to be that 'radical middle' and invite
ideas and participation from people all over this land."
KAGAN: "Let's talk about . . .
this idea of the radical middle. Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? How
can you be radical and in the middle?"
"It is quite interesting what an aging draft-dodging
activist leader comes up with after completing an NYU law degree. This
book basically is a catalog of mostly workable solutions to the major issues of
the day. And even better, it includes . . . organizations working to
implement these ideas. . . . I'm going to add a few to my annual giving
his new book, which provided the initial inspiration for this article, Satin
fleshes out pragmatic new policy ideas that stem from [four guiding] principles.
. . . He is quick to stress that he doesn't necessarily have the right
answers, and that his proposals are merely opening salvos in an ongoing debate
over what constitutes radical-middle solutions."
today has degenerated into one shouting match after another. . . . Mark
Satin, author of the controversial book Radical Middle, has a better idea
-- let's create a politics that appreciates the genuine and reasonable concerns
of left AND right, and builds on them toward something new and appropriate for
the 21st century."
"'Outstanding Book Award 2004' --
Section on Ecological and Transformational Politics, American Political Science
"The problem, as Satin sees
it, is that the current political parties are ignoring the validity of any views
but their own. . . . Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens have
good ideas but are too stubborn to compromise. Satin's radical middle
rises above the parties to find the best combination of policies that do what
government is supposed to do: serve the people."
"Vermont's activism has a lot to do with its size. . .
. '[I]t's impossible to escape the people you fight with[,' says Vermont
historian Michael Sherman]. The upshot: an undercurrent of
communitarianism that makes Vermont a breeding ground for a political movement
that activist and editor Mark Satin calls 'the radical middle.'"
"The modern [radical centrist]
movement . . . draws its inspiration from the book The Third Way by
Anthony Giddens (1998). . . . Subsequent introductions to radical centrist
politics include, most notably, . . . Ted Halstead and Michael Lind, The
Radical Center (2001) . . . Matthew Miller's book The Two Percent
Solution (2003) and Mark Satin's book Radical Middle (2004)."
"I personally feel that Radical
Middle author Mark Satin has, while putting his fingers on the pulse of
something, gone too far for many who would just like rational, reasonable debate
over issues and some out-of-the-box thinking without throwing away the box. . .
. Nevertheless, I think I've finally found the Mother Lode."
"This is a good idea for a
book. [It's] from Mark Satin, editor of the Radical Middle
newsletter. It offers ways to create progressive changes like universal
healthcare and affirmative action that use theories and agendas from both the
Right and the Left. Can't we all just get along?"
"I attended a presentation by Mark
Satin at [Powell's Books in Portland OR] last night. One of those C-SPAN
type events: intimate book store setting, attentive and intelligent audience,
super articulate speaker. . . . Instead of coming off as apolitical, Mark
comes off as intensely political, and radical, but not far left or far right --
reminds me more of Fuller in Grunch of Giants (like, how apolitical was that?)."
the inevitable wails from 'blue America,' I have heard a different call -- a
call for moving away from the old, divisive politics of left and right. . .
. Lofty rhetoric, and lofty ideals. Can they be met? 'Yes!'
says Mark Satin, author of Radical Middle -- the book that has been
billed as this movement's manifesto. . . . I got as far as page six before
I began to suspect that what was coming was mostly a collection of reclad
socialist ideas. . . ."
"You have a very
fascinating and a very rich background. . . . I've been reading your book
and I find it right on point on so many issues. . . . [It addresses] how
we can break the Great Divide and come together as a nation and as a
"Radical Middle: The Politics We Need
Now by Mark Satin dares to propose path-breaking solutions to everything
from under-performing schools to looming terrorism without ever losing touch
with the often complex facts on the ground."
"Third wave, third way,
triangulation. These are terms I think we'll hear more often in Australia
this coming year. Mark Satin, the editor of radicalmiddle.com [and author
of Radical Middle], recommends a third wave of books signaling the coming
of [this] third great political worldview. . . ."
"An eventful month. . . . We've
been reminded afresh what it's like to live in a city, read the daily newspaper.
. . . We met and had dinner with Mark Satin, author of the book Radical
Middle -- recommended reading for all who are keeping a watch on the
"The radical middle deserves to be recognized as an important emerging
political development that could reshape the way we think about public
policy. If you believe we are more likely to be successful in meeting the
future's challenges if we . . . integrate the best ideas from different
positions into a higher common ground, you may already be a part of this
Gingrich's influence in the third way movement [has] brought on kudos from the
likes of New Age 'philosopher' Mark Satin [who has] identified Gingrich as a top
'decentralist / globally responsible' [thinker]. An interesting paradox,
that fits the odd decentralism of the Third Way. . . . Beyond that, Mr.
Satin . . . is not the kind of man you expect to be praising [Gingrich]."
I. Satin (’95) has received the 'Outstanding Book Award 2004' . . .
from the American Political Science Association / Section on Transformational
and Ecological Politics. The award is meant to recognize a book of
extraordinary merit in the field of transformational politics, in particular the
politics [of] change on behalf of ideals that are democratic, ecological, and
humanistic, published in the preceding two calendar years."
"California's premier radical centrist blog
today named State Assemblyman Keith Richman (R-Granada Hills) as its 2004
Radical Centrist of the Year. [He was] the most productive moderate in a
famously polarized California legislature. . . . As part of this honor, he
will receive an autographed copy of Mark Satin's award-winning book, Radical
would have guessed that U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, is part of the
growing radical middle? Probably not even Woolsey herself, but that's the
view from -- where else? -- the Radical Middle, a political newsletter [and
book] by Mark Satin. [Satin] says that a legislator can be considered radical
middle if he or she supports legislation that draws on good policy ideas
wherever they're found and is bold enough to address fundamental issues in
"Well-known individuals who call themselves
centrists (or who are commonly described as centrists) include U.S. Senator John
McCain, former independent Maine Governor Angus King, radio talk show hosts Alan
Nathan and Dennis Prager, Ted Halstead and Michael Lind (authors, The
Radical Center), former Attorney General Elliot Richardson, Mark Satin
(editor, Radical Middle Newsletter), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer,
and U.S. Senator Lincoln D. Chafee."
"Mark is one of the tireless fighters for the new
politics of Radical Centrism. . . . His book . . . is refreshingly short
on political philosophizing and long on real ideas, programs and organizations
you can support. . . . Mark is one of the more visible characters in this
young movement but his enthusiasm, what he calls 'idealism without illusions,'
is infectious and genuine."
"For those . . . seeking a way to
transcend the bitter polarization of American politics this book is a breath of
fresh air. . . . Satin gives us a blueprint for transcending both the
hyperbole and the dichotomies, for discovering the ideas from various political
perspectives that are good and true and useful."
"Rather than become a conservative,
[Satin] became a centrist, but one of a certain kind . . . a caring person who,
unlike many, would prefer to rethink all of his political commitments, from the
ground up, [rather] than succumb to disillusionment or remain rigidly attached
to beliefs discredited by his own experience. The power of the book is
found less in the quality of the rethinking than in the example he sets."
case anyone is interested in what I've been reading lately: . . . Deliver Us
from Evil, by Sean Hannity (good) . . . Little Women, by Louisa May
Alcott (very good) . . . The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli (excellent) .
. . Radical Middle, by Mark Satin (excellent)."
heartening to read that John Avlon is carrying the banner of radical
moderation. Mark Satin's recent book, Radical Middle, gives a
blueprint on how we as a country need to 'take the best from the political left
and right and come up with something new that serves us all.' . . . More
so than not, the answer will be found in the radical middle zone."
evening, The Yellow Line had a great meeting and conversation with John Avlon,
author of Independent Nation, and Mark Satin, author of Radical Middle.
. . . These two centrist writers / leaders are incredibly committed to
advancing the cause of centrism and The Yellow Line is more than happy to join
"Control just keeps growing as the political side of the New Age
movement expands. . . . Leftists are always yammering about what they say
is control coming from religious voices, but they sure do like control coming
from the government. Check out [Radical Middle. Satin] wrote New
Age Politics, and other than a name change, it's the same old stuff."
"Mark Satin [is attempting] to
lead politics to a higher level of discourse. His concise commentary,
mixed with several parts idealism, a good dose of realism, a touch of
spirituality, and always heaps of common sense, is a welcome tonic in today's
polarized political climate. [He is] an integral thinker bridging the deep
divides of a new millennium."
"Slowly but surely the practice of law -- or at least the practice of
some lawyers -- is beginning to change. The change is in the direction of
practicing in a more holistic way, of lawyering with an ethic of care, and, as a
recent popular book put it, of "law reform as if people mattered."1
"I spoke this afternoon with a man I interviewed on KLOS[-FM Los
Angeles] in 1978: Mark Satin, author of New Age Politics. Even then, Mark
struck me as an extremely bright fellow with a remarkable insight and
understanding of the nature of politics and government. Last year, Mark released
his latest book, Radical Middle. [And in] the last week, we've seen
evidence of the 'middle' rising up. . . ."
"Radical Middle . . . provides access to a whole world of fresh
thinking instead of tired platitudes and negativity. . . . While I'm not
sure I can buy Mark Satin's description [of the radical middle] as
"emerging [and] coherent," it certainly is not just neutral or
THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT:
GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE GROUPS AND BLOGS:
SOME PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:
RADICAL MIDDLE CONGRES- SIONAL SCORECARDS:
RADICAL MIDDLE POLITICAL BOOK AWARD WINNERS:
MORE RADICAL MIDDLE BOOKS:
NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE: