"Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels"
– Samuel Johnson, 1775
Updated and revised following the 2004 elections, The Last Refuge describes the current state of American politics against the backdrop of mounting ecological and social problems, the corrosive influence of money, the corruption of language, and the misuse of terrorism as a political issue.
Setting out an agenda that transcends conventional ideological labels, David Orr contends that partisan wrangling is only a symptom of a deeper dysfunction: The whole political machinery that connects Americans' fundamentally honorable ideals with public policy is broken. The Last Refuge offers a withering critique of the failings of the Bush administration, supplemented by new essays that look at the national-level dominance of the Republican Party and examine the fallacy that the evangelical right represents a Christian majority.
After analyzing the challenges of reforming the current system, Orr offers an empowering vision of a second American Revolution that peaceably achieves sustainability and charts a hopeful course for forward-looking citizens.
Introduction to the 2005 Edition
1. James Madison ’s Nightmare
2. Authentic Christianity and the Problem of Earthly Power
3. Walking North on a Southbound Train
4. Rewriting the Ten Commandments
5. The Events of 9/11: A View from the Margin
6. The Labors of Sisyphus
7. Four Challenges of Sustainability
9. A Literature of Redemption
11. The Uses of Prophecy
12. The Constitution of Nature
13. Imagine a World:The Education of Our Leaders
14. Postscript:The Hour before Dawn
Appendix 1:The Education of Power
Appendix 2:Common Ground/Common Future (with L.Hunter Lovins)