There are four books in a continuing body of work about renewal of the principles and values of democracy, which the author labels "Civitas."
The two foundational books are: The American Adventure: Rediscovering Civitas for a Renewed Democracy, Vol. 1, and The Cosmopolitan Uprising: Rebuilding Civitas for a New America, Vol. 2.
The American Adventure explores in historical context a clash of two systems of ideas. These are labelled "civitas" and "tribalism." Positive change of the nation's direction demands rediscovery and practice of the ideas of civitas, which rest on the principles and values of democracy. These governance and moral principles arise in world history from philosophy and the world's great religions. Called for is a renewed political theology that brings the best of the past into the present on behalf of the future.
The Cosmopolitan Uprising brings to life ideas explored in the first book, using case examples taken from the bellwether state of Florida as well as observations about national and global conditions. Called for is a Cosmopolitan Uprising, which is the nation's best chance for re-building civitas.
These two foundational books argue in favor of regeneration of our mediating institutions-those forms of local community that reside between the individual and the state. These include the family, the faith community, education, private non-profit organizations dedicated to the public good, and local governments.
Make a Home for Each Other: A Manifesto of Civitas, is a succinct statement of the entire body of work. Readers who want an overview of the author's main ideas may begin with this book.
The At-Home Advantage: Recovering Our Communities of Memory summaries the more voluminous first two books. The American Adventure now needs a Cosmopolitan Uprising driven via the expansion of stronger powers of local, self-determination or home rule protected from preemption or erosion by political elites. Governing authority at regional and local levels is under assault by ideologues at higher levels of government whose agendas are threatened by local communities governing on their home ground in common cause for their common good. This book concentrates on the using the powers of local, home rule to strengthen the practice of American democracy. This book contains excerpts of the other works, as well as original material.
What Others Are Saying. This combined work is well-described by Paul Croce, Stetson University Professor of American history, and Chair of Stetson's American Studies Program: "This work is a shout out for renewal of American democracy. It takes its stand for an ordered-liberty and faith-rooted third way beyond Left-Right divides. And its treasure trove of thoughtful insights and rich quotations shows a depth of learning. It is delightful to witness a practitioner so immersed in theory, and that makes for a distinctive in mingling theory and practice. This work offers a great platform for what pragmatists call practical idealism."
Lawrence Martin, Professor, Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, writes: "The American Adventure is a tour de force It's like reading a crash course in the great books of the Western World with applications to politics and government in the US."
Nick Maddox, a Professor of Management (Ret.) at the Stetson University School of Business says, "In erudite and often complex ways, Arrington is building a vision of what a decent society and an abundant future might entail for us. He does a superb job of framing the social, philosophical and values dynamics that have led to the predicaments we face. He suggests reasonable and smart ways for us to move forward from the tribalism, despair, desperation and learned helplessness that creates the mental gridlock defining these times we inhabit."