Terry Tempest Williams
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The Open Space of Democracy

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The Orion Society Thoughts on America Intiative sponsored the Open Space of Democracy Tour, a national, multi-media tour of conciliation and dialogue on the paramount question of leadership in America. The Orion Society posted Terry's thoughts during her tour in an online "Democracy Diary." The first part of the Democracy Diary was also featured in Grist Magazine. You can also read excerpts from "The Open Space of Democracy" online on the Orion Society web site: Commencement, Ground Truthing, and Engagement.

Open Space of Democracy quote
"In a time of despair Terry Tempest Williams offers us hope. In a season of confrontation she provides connection. Against the passions of war she wields peace. To the bray of hubris she speaks quietly of reflection. And all, each magical phrase of it, is rooted in the land she loves."
—Carl Pope, Executive Director, The Sierra Club

"Terry Tempest Williams equates the majesty of our nationís wild places with the essence of Americaís democracy. Her inspiring essays are thought provoking reminders of the responsibility each of us has to protect and defend these precious gifts."
—President Jimmy Carter

"Terry Tempest Williams blends the symbolism of nature and democracy and draws readers down the road of personal engagement. It is both tough and thoughtful, harmonious and challenging. Her imaginative theory presented in such inspiring narrative will inspire you to see more, feel more and do more."
—Robert Redford

"The fierce questioning of our American status quo, a hunger for lifeís essences, a fearless confrontation with doubt and self-doubt—all the exhilarating hallmarks of Terry Tempest Williamsí work come sharply to bear here on a central question of our time: Can American-style democracy survive in its birthplace?"
—Barry Lopez

"Terry Tempest Williams demands that there be room in our political dialogue for differences and even dissent, and she starts a national conversation to do just that. She begins this conversation with vivid images of her work in Utah and her travels in the Arctic. She speaks from the heart about places that she truly loves, answering the question for herself and us: what are we willing to give our lives to, if not the perpetuation of the sacred. Her stories, recognizing the power of individual action, remind us that the human heart is the first home of democracy."
—Bill Meadows
Executive Director, The Wilderness Society

"In The Open Space of Democracy, Terry Tempest Williams issues an urgently needed call for the cultivation of a democratic way of life in America that integrates ecological, social, and spiritual values."
—Steven C. Rockefeller
Professor Emeritus of Religion, Middlebury College
Member, Earth Charter Commission

The Open Space of Democracy
Orion Society
107 Pages
ISBN: 0-913-09863-9

The Open Space of Democracy
Wipf & Stock Publishers
107 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-60899-208-9


Terry Tempest Williams, in a triptych of essays originally published in Orion magazine, presents a sharp-edged perspective on the ethics and politics of place, spiritual democracy, and the responsibilities of citizen engagement. By turn elegiac, inspiring, and passionate, The Open Space of Democracy offers a fresh perspective on the critical questions of our time.

The Hour of Land The Story of My Heart When Women Were Birds Finding Beauty in a Broken World Illuminated Desert The Open Space of Democracy Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert LEAP New Genesis: a Mormon Reader on Land and Community Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness Great and Peculiar Beauty: A Utah Centennial Reader Desert Quartet: An Erotic Landscape An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Coyote's Canyon Between Cattails Pieces of White Shell Secret Language of Snow