Holding Together

Why Our Rights Are Under Siege and How to Reclaim Them for Everyone

A bold new assessment of the multipronged attack on American rights, and how to push back, from experts at the Fletcher School at Tufts and the Carr Center at Harvard

“The government has a responsibility to protect rights and the people have a responsibility to respect them . . . a majority of Americans believe that neither the government nor the people are exercising their responsibilities to protect and respect rights.” —from Holding Together

Americans are bound together not by blood ties but by the promise of rights—rights for everyone. An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that rights are essential to their freedom, and that rights today are severely threatened. The promise of rights has been reimagined at pivotal moments in American history—from the Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement. Can today become a similar time of transformation?

Holding Together is a major account of the threats to rights in the United States in the twenty-first century, and the new opportunity to address them. Drawing on a series of town hall meetings of representative groups of citizens across the country discussing their concerns over rights, new national opinion polls from all demographic groups and political perspectives conducted in 2020 and 2021, and extensive research, Holding Together is a road map for an American rights revival.

In fifteen accessible chapters dealing with voting rights, freedom of speech, criminal justice, gun rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, religious freedom, privacy, immigration, and more, three renowned thought-leaders, including a former assistant secretary of state, John Shattuck, Sushma Raman, and Mathias Risse present a comprehensive account of the current state of rights in America—along with concrete recommendations to policy makers and citizens for reimagining them.

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