Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is associate professor of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and the author of 13 books. He opens this one with a quotation from Bill McKibben:

"The world hasn't ended, but the world as we know it has — even if we don't quite know it yet."

Anxiety dogs many Americans given the precariousness of the economic system, the great environmental crisis, the dysfunctional political system, the large amount of money in the military budget, and the ethical disarray of the republic. Nelson-Pallmeyer suggests it is the right time to exit dead-end roads and to discover new alternative pathways into the future.

He believes a people-centered, participative democracy is both needed and possible. Among the topics he discusses are ecological economics; equity, politics, and the common good; good riddance to empire; and advocacy of the spiritual values of empathy, compassion, and the Golden Rule.

We are entering a crucial transition period where we need to be buoyed by authentic hope. Nelson-Pallmeyer helps ease the way.