Democracies are under attack in many countries including our own. Wannabe dictators feel threatened by democracies’ existence. Their destructive efforts are abetted by democracies’ citizen apathy. This book examines the institutions, the “columns” that support democracy. They include such institutions as independent media, K-12 and higher education, respected, independent judges, accessible voting systems, and public libraries. These institutions support both an active citizenry and meaningful checks on executives’ abuses. This book calls Americans to action – with suggestions. It also contains the author’s “columns” – an example of citizen use of the column of democracy called media.

Available from Iowa City’s Prairie Lights, Amazon, or Lulu.

Listen and watch Nicholas Johnson’s speeches, readings, and interviews about Columns of Democracy: 

  • Nicholas Johnson’s reading of Columns of Democracy (with discussion of how we can save it), Iowa City’s famed Prairie Lights Bookstore, March 30, 2019. [Watch]
  • “The Media Under Siege — And What KHOI Can Do About It,” An Evening With Nicholas Johnson, Fundraiser for Community Radio Station KHOI-FM 89.1, Ames, Iowa, November 16, 2018 (“media” as one of the Columns of Democracy) [Listen].
  • Ursula Ruedenberg’s interview of Nicholas Johnson, “Columns of Democracy,” Local Talk, KHOI-FM, community radio station, Ames, Iowa, November 9, 2018 [Listen].
  • Ben Kieffer’s interview of Nicholas Johnson, “Columns of Democracy,” River to River, Iowa Public Radio, October 29, 2018 [Listen].


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Ursula Ruedenberg, Local Talk, KHOI-FM, Columns of Democracy, Nov. 9, 2018

KHOI-FM, Ames, Iowa, Producer Susan Franzen presents excerpts from an interview of Nicholas Johnson by Station Manager, Ursula Ruedenberg, on KHOI’s noon program “Local Talk,” November 9, 2018, previous to his appearance November 16, 2018, at an Ames fundraiser for the station, discussing his then-latest book, Columns of Democracy (ColumnsOfDemocracy.com).  

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