Some analysts have called distrust the biggest governmental crisis of our time. It is unquestionably a huge problem, undermining confidence in our elected institutions, shrinking social capital, slowing innovation, and raising existential questions for democratic government itself. What’s behind the rising distrust in democracies around the world and can we do anything about it? In this lively and thought-provoking essay, Donald F. Kettl, a leading scholar of public policy and management, investigates the deep historical roots of distrust in government, exploring its effects on the social contract between citizens and their elected representatives. Most importantly, the book examines the strategies that present-day governments can follow to earn back our trust, so that the officials we elect can govern more effectively on our behalf.