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The Life and Death of Democracy (edition 2009)
by John Keane (Author)
The Life and Death of Democracy by John Keane
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393058352, Hardcover)
From Plato to de Tocqueville to Fukuyama—an epic history of the governing philosophy that has defined Western history.In the grand tradition of Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers comes this provocative history of world democracy, which begins with the ancient Myceans and ends in our fractious present. Overturning long-cherished notions, John Keane poses challenging questions: Did democracy actually begin in ancient Greece or earlier in Mesopotamia? Do the American and British systems actually live up to their democratic ideals? Why is there a bad moon rising over the world’s democracies? Written by a leading political theorist, this book presents readers with a counterintuitive look at democracy’s past, present, and future, which Keane argues lies not in the West but in the turbulent democracies of the East, especially in India. Avoiding the triumphalism of global democracy’s most boisterous pundits, Keane cautions that democracy today is more fragile than ever and that, unless major corrective measures are taken, we may be sleepwalking our way into even deeper trouble.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:04 -0400)
"John Keane's The Life and Death of Democracy will inspire and shock its readers. Presenting the first grand history of democracy for well over a century, it poses along the way some tough and timely questions: can we really be sure that democracy had its origins in ancient Greece? How did democratic ideals and institutions come to have the shape they do today? Given all the recent fanfare about democracy promotion, why are many people now gripped by the feeling that a bad moon is rising over all the world's democracies? Do they indeed have a future? Or is perhaps democracy fated to melt away, along with our polar ice caps? [...] Stylishly written, this superb book confronts its readers with an entirely fresh and irreverent look at the past, present and future of democracy [...] It tracks the changing, hotly disputed meanings of democracy and describes quite a few of the extraordinary characters, many of them long forgotten, who dedicated their lives to building or defending democracy." -- Book jacket.
(summary from another edition)
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