America 2.0

America 2.0, Part 16: The Final Installment

For readers who missed early parts of this series of posts, I am summarizing a novel written almost forty years ago. We are listening in as a young woman journalist interviews a very old man about the changes in America occasioned by the switch from voting to selecting public officials by lot. Journalist: Good morning, …

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When Weirdos Get Elected

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. Let’s be flies on the wall as a young woman journalist interviews a very old man about the changes that occurred in the United States as a result of abandoning the ballot and …

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A New Way of Governing

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. Since only 2 percent of Americans had “Capability Quotients” above 130, that meant that 98 percent of citizens would never hold public office. And that meant, in turn, that Grace Atkinson’s selection-by-lot idea …

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Only the Top Two Percent

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. Two days after receiving Grace Atkinson’s posthumous note, George and Jenny Leader found themselves in the Roosevelt Room across from the Oval Office listening intently as Dr. Michael Solomon discussed the issue of …

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Despotism of the Wise

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C… President Johnson had been seized on a Sunday morning, and everyone else on the list had been detained by 8:15 a.m. on Monday. By Monday afternoon, rumors had …

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Debating IQ

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. As Dr. Michael Solomon knocked cautiously on the door of Grace’s apartment, he was well aware that Grace was furious with him. Sure enough, when Grace’s face showed in the door window, she …

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Drinking Scotch and Talking Democracy

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. One evening at the faculty club, with Grace Atkinson and Michael Solomon deep into The Macallan, the conversation turned to Grace’s evolving views of the American Constitution. As noted earlier, Grace believed that, …

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Solomon’s Story

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. While the leaders of the Georgetown Convention are consolidating their hold on the U.S. government, we need to introduce Dr. Michael Solomon, an eminent professor of psychology and long-time friend and colleague of …

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Seizing LBJ

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. Gen. Green was startled. “Hold it, folks” he said. “I’m a desk jockey now, I haven’t commanded troops in the field since my last tour in Vietnam, back in ’64.” “But, Willy,” George …

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The Russkies, Vietnam and a Possible Coup

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. In the novel, written so many years ago, many chapters were devoted to the back-channel negotiations that went on between the Johnson Administration (in the person of Walter Rostow) and the Soviet Union …

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The Power of the Press?

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. With Plans A and B dead, the Approvals Panel began to discuss a fallback plan. One way to expose the Black Hole plot would be for George—or someone—to simply make it public. Call …

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The Ways of LBJ

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional account written almost 40 years ago. As the ambulance pulled up to the farmhouse on the eastern shore of Maryland, George Leader was watching out the living room window. What he saw shocked him. An elderly, gray-haired woman was …

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A Great Mind Ponders Grim Alternatives

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. When George suggested that Grace Atkinson be summoned to the deliberations on the Eastern Shore, not everyone was enthusiastic. For one thing, Grace was recovering from a stroke. Moreover, as one Panel member …

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The Plan That Would Have Changed the World

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost 40 years ago. Gen. Willy Green sat staring at the file on his desk, still not quite believing what it contained. The second document in the file—the one right after the red-outlined official form that told …

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The Top Secret File

For readers who missed part 1 of this series of posts, I am summarizing a fictional novel written almost forty years ago. When we left George and Jenny Leader’s soiree last week, the 13 people at the dinner table were locked in intense discussions about what sort of government could have elected (that is, reelected) …

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America 2.0: An Old Novel Idea

When I was serving in the U.S. Army in the early 1970s, I spent a lot of time patrolling in my Military Police Jeep and boring myself silly. Being a cop is a bit like being an airline pilot: hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. To relieve the boredom, I wrote a …

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