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 American Revolution to the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. Can today become another time of transformation? Holding Together is about the promise of rights as a source of American identity, the struggle to realize rights by countless Americans to whom the promise has been denied or not fulfilled, the hijacking of rights by politicians who seek power by dividing and polarizing, and the way forward in which rights can bring Americans together instead of tearing them apart. Drawing on a series of town hall meetings with 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. John Shattuck, Sushma Raman, and Mathias Risse present a comprehensive account of the current state of rights in the United States—and concrete recommendations to policy makers and citizens on how to reclaim them.


Shattuck, John, Sushma Raman, and Mathias Risse. Holding Together: The Hijacking of Rights in America and How to Reclaim Them for Everyone. The New Press, May 2022.