The Life and Death of Democracy (Hardcover)

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Description


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.

About the Author


John Keane, a professor of politics at the University of Westminster and the director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, is the author of many books, including the widely translated The Media and Democracy. He lives in London.

Praise For…


Starred Review. Traces democracy's roots back to Sumeria and follows its tendrils as far afield as Pitcairn Island and Papua New Guinea….engrossing profiles of obscure politicians and reformers…his study's broad sweep, wealth of detailed knowledge, shrewd insights and fluent, lively prose make it a must-read for scholars and citizens alike.
— Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393058352
ISBN-10: 0393058352
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 17th, 2009
Pages: 992
Language: English