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Yankelovich, Daniel. Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World. Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1991 (290 pp). Yankelovich’s findings and his conclusions have many worthwhile implications for those working in public setting. The book is concerned, most of all, with how the public moves from mass opinion to what he calls "public judgment." The step missing in most attempts to realize public judgment Yankelovich labels "working through," and it is in this arena that the role of heritage and public deliberation becomes apparent. As he says, most forms of working through concern only facts and technical solutions, but "expert" or "objective" answers have not served humanity that well to date, and we recognize that there must be other less formal, more values-centered ways of knowing. The book is valuable not only for its expression of how we might reach public judgment, but also for its description of the expert-public gap, and also for its historical and philosophical attack on modern objectivism.


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