Adventures in democracy

£25.00

In a hyper-competitive world obsessed with rankings, super-wealth and greatness, how can we live up to democratic ideals of equality?Erica Benner has spent a lifetime thinking about these questions from different angles in different countries – from post-war Japan, where democracy was imposed on a defeated country, to post-communist Poland, with sudden gaps of wealth and security, and the US and South Africa with their legacies of slavery and racism. ‘Adventures in Democracy’ draws on her experiences and the deep history of democracies – in ancient Rome and Athens, the American and French revolutions and Renaissance Florence – to offer an unflinching portrait of modern democracy. To salvage democratic institutions and ideals, Benner argues, we need to pay more attention to inequalities and struggles for power among citizens.

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‘A sparkling page-turner full of wit, original insight and unassuming erudition.’ Katja Hoyer, the Guardian

Democracy is a living, breathing thing and Erica Benner has spent a lifetime thinking about the role ordinary citizens play in keeping it alive: from her childhood in post-war Japan, where democracy was imposed on a defeated country, to working in post-communist Poland, with its sudden gaps of wealth and security. This book draws on her experiences and the deep history of self-ruling peoples – going back to ancient Greece, the French revolution and Renaissance Florence – to rethink some of the toughest questions that we face today.

What do democratic ideals of equality mean in a world obsessed with competition, wealth, and greatness? How can we hold the powerful to account? Can we find enough common ground to keep sharing democratic power in the future? Challenging well-worn myths of heroic triumph over tyranny, Benner reveals the inescapable vulnerabilities of people power, inviting us to consider why democracy is worth fighting for and the role each of us must play.

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Weight 0.424 kg
Dimensions 24 × 16.2 × 2.4 cm
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