high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online
high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online_top
high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online__right
high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online__front

Description

Product Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors'' Choice)

WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Time Foreign Affairs • WBUR • Paste


Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.

Praise for How Democracies Die

“What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.” The Washington Post

“Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.” Ezra Klein, Vox

“If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read  How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.” —Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter)

“A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.” —Fareed Zakaria,  CNN

Review

“Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies have collapsed elsewhere—not just through violent coups, but more commonly (and insidiously) through a gradual slide into authoritarianism. . . .  How Democracies Die is a lucid and essential guide to what can happen here.” The  New York Times

“The most important book of the Trump era was not Bob Woodward’s  Fear or Michael Wolff’s  Fire and Fury or any of the other bestselling exposes of the White House circus. Arguably it was a wonkish tome by two Harvard political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, published a year into Donald Trump’s presidency and entitled  How Democracies Die.The Economist

“If you want to understand what’s happening to our country, the book you really need to read is  How Democracies Die.” —Paul Krugman

“Fair warning: reading Levitsky and Ziblatt will leave you very, very unsettled. They make a powerful case that we really and truly are in uncharted territory, living in a moment when the line between difficult times and dark times has blurred.” Washington Monthly

“Carefully researched and persuasive . . . the authors show the fragility of even the best democracies and also caution politicians . . . who think they can somehow co-opt autocrats without getting burned. . . .  How Democracies Die provides a guide for Americans of all political persuasions for what to avoid.” USA Today

“Scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed . . . the greatest of the many merits of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s contribution to what will doubtless be the ballooning discipline of democracy death studies is their rejection of western exceptionalism.” The Guardian

“[An] important new book.” —Nicholas Kristof, The  New York Times

“The political-science text in vogue this winter is  How Democracies Die.” The New Yorker

“How Democracies Die
studies the modern history of apparently healthy democracies that have slid into autocracy. It is hard to read this fine book without coming away terribly concerned about the possibility Trump might inflict a mortal wound on the health of the republic.... It is simplistic to expect boots marching in the streets, but there will be a battle for democracy.” —Jonathan Chait,
New York magazine

“The great strength of Levitsky and Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die is that it rejects the exceptionalist account of US democracy. Their lens is comparative. The authors say America is not immune to the trends that have led to democracy’s collapse in other parts of the world.” Financial Times

“A powerful wake-up call.” —Foreign Affairs

“The big advantage of political scientists over even the shrewdest and luckiest of eavesdropping journalists is that they have the training to give us a bigger picture.... [Levitsky and Ziblatt] bring to bear useful global and historical context . . . [showing] the mistakes democratic politicians make as they let dangerous demagogues into the heart of power.” The Sunday Times

“If this were fiction, the thrills of this book would remind you of the thrills you had when you first read 1984, It Can’t Happen Here, The Plot Against America and The Handmaid’s Tale. If this were fiction, you could lie in the sand and enjoy the read. But this book is not fiction. And this book is not just about the past. And this book is not just about other countries. [It] should be on your reading list this summer.” —Tufts Now

“Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt offer one of the best forensic accounts available of the crimes against democracy in America.... The diagnosis is compelling, and their book is essential, even compulsive, reading.” Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

“[ How Democracies Die] is a stellar deep-dive into a series of modern democracies that ceased to be.” —Daily Kos

"Maybe have a drink before digging into this one. Levitsky and Ziblatt trace the fall of democracies throughout history with agonizing clarity, going right up to our current perilous moment.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Levitsky and Ziblatt are not entirely pessimistic . . . but they leave readers in no doubt that they should be worried about the state of American democracy.” Slate

“Chilling . . . A provocative analysis of the parallels between Donald Trump''s ascent and the fall of other democracies.” Kirkus Reviews

“Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have offered a brilliant diagnosis of the most important issue facing our world: Can democracy survive? With clinical precision and an extraordinary grasp of history, they point to the warning signs of decay and define the obligations of those who would preserve free government. If there is an urgent book for you to read at this moment, it is How Democracies Die." —E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of One Nation After Trump
 
“Levitsky and Ziblatt are leading scholars of democracy in other parts of the world, who with great energy and integrity now apply their expertise to the current problems of the United States. The reader feels the intellectual excitement, and also the political warning, as the authors draw the connections from their own vast knowledge to the chaos that we experience each day.” —Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
 
“We live in perilous times. Anyone who is concerned about the future of American democracy should read this brisk, accessible book. Anyone who is  not concerned should definitely read it.” —Daron Acemoglu, co-author of  Why Nations Fail

“Readers will not find an anti-Trump screed in How Democracies Die. The book is more erudite than alarmist . . . but that makes [Levitsky and Ziblatt’s] clarity on the risk of both Trump and wider political developments all the more powerful.” California magazine

“All Americans who care about the future of their country should read this magisterial, compelling book, which sweeps across the globe and through history to analyze how democracies die. The result is an unforgettable framework for diagnosing the state of affairs here at home and our prospects for recovery.” —Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration and Cuz

“Two years ago, a book like this could not have been written: two leading political scientists who are expert in the breakdown of democracy in other parts of the world using that knowledge to inform Americans of the dangers their democracy faces today. We owe the authors a debt of thanks for bringing their deep understanding to bear on the central political issue of the day.” —Francis Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay

“In this brilliant historical synthesis, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how the actions of elected leaders around the world have paved the road to democratic failure, and why the United States is now vulnerable to this same downward spiral. This book should be widely and urgently read as a clarion call to restore the shared beliefs and practices—beyond our formal constitution—that constitute the essential ‘guardrails’ for preserving democracy.” —Larry Diamond, author of The Spirit of Democracy

“Thorough and well-argued . . . the biggest strength of How Democracies Die is its bluntness of language in describing American history—a bluntness that often goes missing when we discuss our own past.” Pacific Standard
 
“Required reading for every American . . . [ How Democracies Die] shows the daily slings and arrows that can gradually crush our liberties, without the drama of a revolution or a military coup.” The Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are Professors of Government at Harvard University. Levitsky’s research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. He is the author of Competitive Authoritarianism and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Ziblatt studies Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. He is the author, most recently, of Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. Both Levitsky and Ziblatt have written for Vox and The New York Times, among other publications.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

We tend to think of democracies dying at the hands of men with guns. During the Cold War, coups d’état accounted for nearly three out of every four democratic break­downs, and more re­cently, military coups toppled Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. In these cases democracy dissolved in spectacular fashion, through military power and coercion.

But there is another way to break a democracy. It is less dra­matic but equally destructive.

In Venezuela, for example, Hugo Chávez was a political outsider who railed against what he cast as a corrupt govern­ing elite, promising to build a more “authentic” democracy that used the country’s vast oil wealth to improve the lives of the poor. Skillfully tapping into the anger of ordinary Venezuelans, many of whom felt ignored or mistreated by the established political parties, Chávez was elected president in 1998. As a woman in Chávez’s home state of Barinas put it on election night, “Democracy is infected. And Chávez is the only antibiotic we have.”

When Chávez launched his promised revolution, he did so democratically. In 1999, he held free elections for a new constituent assembly, in which his allies won an overwhelming majority. It wasn’t until 2003 that Chávez took his first clear steps toward authoritarianism, stalling a referendum that would have recalled him from office. In 2004, the government blacklisted those who had signed the recall petition and packed the supreme court. The chavista regime grew more repressive after 2006, closing a major television station, arresting or exiling opposition politicians, judges, and media figures on dubious charges, and eliminating presidential term limits so that Chávez could remain in power indefinitely. After Chávez’s death a year later, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, won another questionable reelection. It was only when a new single-party constituent assembly usurped the power of Congress in 2017, nearly two decades after Chávez first won the presidency, that Venezuela was widely recognized as an autocracy.

This is how democracies now die. Blatant dictatorship—in the form of fascism, communism, or military rule—has dis­appeared across much of the world. Military coups and other violent seizures of power are rare. Most countries hold regular elections. Since the end of the Cold War, most democratic breakdowns have been caused not by generals and soldiers but by elected gov­ernments themselves. Like Chávez in Venezuela, elected leaders have subverted democratic institutions in Georgia, Hungary, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Ukraine. Democratic backsliding today begins at the ballot box.
 
How vulnerable is American democracy to this form of breakdown? The foundations of our democracy are certainly stron­ger than those in Venezuela, Turkey, or Hungary. But are they strong enough? Answering such a question requires stepping back from daily headlines and breaking news alerts to widen our view, drawing lessons from the experiences of other democracies around the world and throughout history.

We know that extremist demagogues emerge from time to time in all societies, even in healthy democracies. The United States has had its share of them, including Henry Ford, Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace. An essential test for democracies is not whether such figures emerge but whether political leaders, and especially political parties, work to prevent them from gaining power in the first place—by keeping them off mainstream party tickets, refusing to endorse or align with them, and when necessary, making common cause with rivals in support of democratic candidates.

Once a would‑be authoritarian makes it to power, democra­cies face a second critical test: Will the autocratic leader subvert democratic institutions or be constrained by them? America failed the first test in November 2016, when we elected a president with a dubious allegiance to democratic norms. How serious is the threat now? Many observers take comfort in our Constitution, which was designed precisely to thwart and contain demagogues like Donald Trump. Our Madisonian system of checks and balances has endured for more than two centuries. It survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and Watergate. Surely, then, it will be able to survive Trump.

We are less certain. Historically, our system of checks and balances has worked pretty well— but not, or not entirely, because of the constitutional system designed by the founders. Democracies work best— and survive longer— where constitutions are reinforced by unwritten democratic norms. Two basic norms have preserved America’s checks and balances in ways we have come to take for granted: mutual toleration, or the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals, and forbearance, or the idea that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives.

The erosion of our democratic norms began in the 1980s and 1990s and accelerated in the 2000s. By the time Barack Obama became president, many Republicans, in particular, questioned the legitimacy of their Democratic rivals and had abandoned forbearance for a strategy of winning by any means necessary. Donald Trump may have accelerated this process, but he didn’t cause it.

The weakening of our democratic norms is rooted in extreme partisan polarization— one that ex-tends beyond policy differences into an existential conflict over race and culture. And if one thing is clear from studying breakdowns throughout history, it’s that extreme polarization can kill democracies.

There are, therefore, reasons for alarm. Not only did Americans elect a demagogue in 2016, but we did so at a time when the norms that once protected our democracy were already coming unmoored. But if other countries’ experiences teach us how democracies can die at the hands of elected officials, they also teach us that breakdown is neither inevitable nor irreversible.

Many Americans are justifiably frightened by what is happening to our country. But protecting our democracy requires more than just fright or outrage. We must be humble and bold. We must learn from other countries to see the warning signs— and recognize the false alarms. We must be aware of the fateful missteps that have wrecked other democracies. And we must see how citizens have risen to meet the great democratic crises of the past, overcoming their own deep-seated divisions to avert breakdown. History doesn’t repeat itself. But it rhymes. The promise of history, and the hope of this book, is that we can find the rhymes before it is too late.
 
Reprinted from HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE Copyright © 2018 by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Videos

Help others learn more about this product by uploading a video!
Upload video
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
2,606 global ratings

Reviews with images

Top reviews from the United States

A. J. Sutter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not just preaching to the choir
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2018
This book is better than I expected. I teach in Japan about comparative constitutional law and politics, and bought this out of a sense of professional duty: I figured it would just be some Ivy League liberal professors using a few historical examples to explain (again) why... See more
This book is better than I expected. I teach in Japan about comparative constitutional law and politics, and bought this out of a sense of professional duty: I figured it would just be some Ivy League liberal professors using a few historical examples to explain (again) why Trump is dangerous. There already are a number of books with that message, such as Jan Werner Müller''s excellent "What is Populism?" (2016). Yes, this book does have that message too, and it uses some of the same examples as Müller, including Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. But it also goes beyond partisan diatribe in a couple of valuable ways.

The first is to illuminate the role of "norms" in a constitutional system. In this context, a "norm" is an unwritten standard of behavior that is followed for an extended period of time -- you might think of it as describing some type of behavior that''s "normal." US law school profs are prone to point out several such norms, none of which are in the US Constitution as written: such as that US Supreme Court justices are lawyers, that members of the military retire from active duty before joining the Cabinet, and, prior to FDR in 1940, that Presidents not run for a third term. (These sorts of norm are often called "constitutional conventions" by political scientists -- not to be confused with the event in Philadelphia mentioned in the musical "Hamilton.") Individually, though, the loss of any of these highly specific norms wouldn''t necessarily have a huge impact on the functioning of the government.

Levitsky & Ziblatt (L&Z) instead focus on some norms that are more abstract, but also more vital to the fabric of democracy. The norms of interest to them are "shared codes of conduct that become common knowledge within a particular community or society -- accepted, respected and enforced by its members" (@101). Two of the most important are (i) mutual toleration, i.e. the belief that political opponents are not enemies, and (ii) institutional forbearance, i.e. "avoiding actions that, while respecting the letter of the law, obviously violate its spirit" (@106). In more specific contexts several other such norms also come up, e.g. that presidents shouldn''t undermine another coequal branch (such as the court system). Calling such norms the "guardrails of democracy," L&Z provide one of the clearest and most convincing expositions of them that I''ve read. Many presidents challenge norms -- such as when Teddy Roosevelt had dinner in the White House with a black man (Booker T. Washington), or Jimmy Carter and his wife walked part of the route to his inauguration -- but Pres. Trump stands out, they say, stands out "in his willingness to challenge unwritten rules of greater consequence" (@195). So far, some of his assaults on mutual toleration and institutional forbearance have been more rhetorical than actual: as I write this, he continues to revile Hilary Clinton but hasn''t actually "locked her up." Unfortunately, the fact that in his first year Pres. Trump has only bumped into, but not yet broken through, such "guardrails" doesn''t necessarily signify much about the future: see Table 3 @108, which shows that the now-authoritarian Erdoğan was at about the same place as Trump at the end of his first year.

But it''s not only the president who is capable of breaking the norms -- Congress can as well. L&Z point out how the era of "constitutional hardball," emphasizing the letter over the spirit of the document, has roots as early as in the 1970s, when Newt Gingrich was a Congressional aspirant. It really came into its own after the 1994 mid-term elections, when Gingrich was elected Speaker. Although the Republicans seem to have begun this cycle of escalation, Democrats also participated, such as in removing the ability to filibuster most judicial nominations. L&Z use historical narratives to show how the disappearance (or nonexistence) of such norms in other countries allowed society to slide down the slope into authoritarianism.

The second and more surprising point of L&Z''s historical study is that in the US the erosion of these two central norms is linked to matters of race. During most of the 20th Century conservative Republicans could cooperate with conservative Democrats, and liberal Democrats could cooperate with liberal Republicans. The stability of this bipartisanship rested to a great degree on the fact that political participation of racial minorities could be limited in a variety of ways, such as via a poll tax. As the civil rights movement picked up steam, and as the Hispanic population started to increase, it became clear that the Democratic party was minorities'' preference. Around the first Reagan election in 1980 the previously traditional party alignments started to break down, and polarization set in. White voters in Southern states shifted to the Republican party. Concurrently, the divisiveness of the abortion issue following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was driving many religious voters toward the Republicans as well.

This is actually the most depressing aspect of the book. Unless he perpetrates a coup, Trump will pass; but the racial and religious source of hardball attitudes augurs ill for American politics into the indefinite future. The US is a multi-ethnic society in which no ethnicity is in the majority. L&Z point out that to date they haven''t been able to identify any society like that which is both (i) a democracy and (ii) a society where all ethnicities are empowered politically, socially and economically.

In short, this isn''t a "Chicken Little" book screaming hysterically to the already-persuaded about how terrible Donald Trump is. Rather, while pointing out some of the dangers posed acutely by Trump''s handling of the presidency, it also identifies some much more long-term problems. The solutions proposed by L&Z, such as that Democrats shouldn''t behave like the hardball Republican politicians, may strike some readers as weak and overly optimistic. But no solutions will eventuate if people aren''t aware of how deep the problem really is, and for that reason this book deserves to be read widely.
1,003 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Angie Boyter
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought-provoking and alarming
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2018
When we think of a democracy dying, what comes to mind is usually a military coup or civil war or other sudden violent action. In How Democracies Die, Harvard Government professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt show how countries can lose their democracy more slowly... See more
When we think of a democracy dying, what comes to mind is usually a military coup or civil war or other sudden violent action. In How Democracies Die, Harvard Government professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt show how countries can lose their democracy more slowly and insidiously, often without a single shot fired.
They assert that, beyond the obvious mechanisms we depend on like free and fair elections and a strong constitution, democracies work best when these mechanisms are reinforced by unwritten democratic norms of mutual toleration of competing parties and forbearance in deploying institutional pregogatives. They also develop a set of four behavioral warning signs to help identify an authoritarian and a litmus test to identify autocrats.
The authors support each of the general principles they put forth with many detailed examples of democracies that fell under autocratic rule and how it happened. These include the countries most likely to come to mind like Hitler’s Germany and others like Venezuela, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.
After making their case for how democracies die, the authors warn that the United States is not immune from this disease and give good evidence for their assertion. Not surprisingly the Trump administration is their primary example, but there are other recent examples from before Trump took office. As an example of the violation of the civil norm of forbearance (which has been broken by both parties), they cite the Senate’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Until I read this book I had not realized that no president since Reconstruction has been denied the opportunity to fill a Supreme Court vacancy when he nominated someone before his successor was elected. Specific nominees had been turned down, but replacements were considered and someone was appointed in every instance until the Garland nomination. It was also interesting to read about the crucial role that the political parties play in keeping authoritarians on the fringes. The book makes a good argument that the use of primary elections to select nominees, a step most of us see as supporting democracy, could instead make it easier for an authoritarian to gain power.
Not all the examples in the book are negative. It also cites instances where threats to democracy have been foiled, both in the United States and elsewhere. An excellent example was when President Roosevelt tried to neutralize a Supreme Court that was hostile to some of his New Deal by expanding the Supreme Court to 15 members. The bipartisan negative reaction was especially significant given that Roosevelt was extremely popular and had just been re-elected in a landslide. There ARE actions and attitudes that can counter threats.
The book’s theses are well-reasoned and well-documented. Most of the current examples in the United States would be familiar to well-informed readers, and we probably did not need to hear about them to see their relevance to the general principles the authors developed from their examinations of history. It was especially chilling to read about a behavioral warning sign and then to see an example of it in the news. For example the day after I read about “willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media” as a warning sign, President Trump’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to try to prevent publication of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.
Like most Americans, I react to the thought of losing our democratic way of life with “No, it can’t happen here.” This book has convinced me that it could.
NOTE: I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley with a request for an honest review.
343 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
greenpete
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Scholarly and Timely
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2018
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, one can pretty much divvy up the American electorate into three groups: those who''ll support him no matter what, based on one or more narrow ideologies they view Trump as upholding (reference the one and two-star reviewers here);... See more
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, one can pretty much divvy up the American electorate into three groups: those who''ll support him no matter what, based on one or more narrow ideologies they view Trump as upholding (reference the one and two-star reviewers here); those who are disgusted with Trump''s personal or political behavior, but who feel America is somehow inoculated from serious democratic breakdown; and people like me, sickened by what they are witnessing, and convinced American democracy is eroding under him, with the erosion starting long before his election.

This book crystallizes what I''ve been feeling for a long time. It''s backed by scholarly research from two professors of government whose writing is even-tempered, sober, and has no agenda to push - other than democracy. It carefully discusses worldwide democratic breakdowns, especially in western Europe in the 1930s and Latin America more recently, then cites characteristics that are common to all of them, then draws parallels to events in America. The parallels are shocking: packing the courts with ideologues; squashing voting rights with indiscriminate and cavalier voter ID laws; altering voting districts to favor one party; assaults on the free press. Then there''s America''s own peculiar dance between corporations and politicians, assuring that legislation is skewed toward the wealthy and powerful. And the Republican Party''s dance with powerful special interests, like Grover Norquist''s Americans for Tax Freedom, as well as its indentured servitude to a vicious and influential conservative media. And this is all BEFORE Donald Trump, a populist outsider and fringe extremist with little concern for the Constitution or civil rights, appealing to voters'' most base instincts. The chapter that discusses him, "Trump Against the Guardrails," is stomach-churning.

I wish this book were required reading of everyone who turns voting age. It''s that important.
67 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Hannah N.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Clear, Sober, and Fascinating
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2018
First, this book is not an anti-Trump or even anti-right screed, nor is it pro-left per se. It is pro-democracy. Trump himself is duely criticised, and so are members of both parties as far as they depart from democratic norms. I would recommend it to people on both sides... See more
First, this book is not an anti-Trump or even anti-right screed, nor is it pro-left per se. It is pro-democracy. Trump himself is duely criticised, and so are members of both parties as far as they depart from democratic norms. I would recommend it to people on both sides of the aisle. For example, in arguing that failure to recognize one''s political opponents as legitimate contributes to the breakdown of democracy, It challenges both the Never-Trump crowd and birthers. It is a book that I would recommend people all over the political spectrum to take up and read.

Second, it is quite dispassionate and free of fearmongering or catastrophising. I did find myself very afraid at certain points in the book, but that was due to reading the historical examples and reaching my own conclusions. This book allows the reader space to think themselves.

Third, I was incredibly shocked by some of the data presented, especially on race. I had not known that at one point post-reconstruction black representatives made up 40% of the Louisiana legislature or that black voter turn-out was as high as 96% before black voter suppression became successful.

Fourth, this book made me reevaluate some of my own "resist" tactics and decide that I would do well to focus more on winning future elections and less on impeachment.

Highly recommended!
315 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Christopher B. Rumpf
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very biased
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
A very one sided view. Does not address the weaknesses and failings of the Democratic Party. Yes, Trump is scary but he was elected by many people more scared of the criminality of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton in interfering with the 2016 election.
120 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Data Scientist
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Unfortunately partisan and US focused
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2018
Parts of this book are well written, but it suffers from being extremely US focused, with only historic references to other countries. In the US, it is almost laughably partisan (which is to say, it provides the Democratic party''s point of view). All the blame is put on the... See more
Parts of this book are well written, but it suffers from being extremely US focused, with only historic references to other countries. In the US, it is almost laughably partisan (which is to say, it provides the Democratic party''s point of view). All the blame is put on the Republicans, while not covering, for example, the IRS scandal (which the authors might have classified as done by an authoritarian president, if it weren''t Obama who did it) or the well documented bias of the US media (see, for example, "Left turn").

Therefore, this book is an interesting insight into how the US democrats view themselves and the Republicans. If you''re looking for insights about how democracies die, probably better to look elsewhere.
59 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Carol Maurer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not worth the money or the time to read it
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2019
I thought it was going to be an interesting historical presentation but very quickly it became an opportunity for the authors to raw a straight line to President Trump at every opportunity. It would have been a better book if they hadn''t taken the opportunity to take pot... See more
I thought it was going to be an interesting historical presentation but very quickly it became an opportunity for the authors to raw a straight line to President Trump at every opportunity. It would have been a better book if they hadn''t taken the opportunity to take pot shots at him and just left the readers with the information they presented and allowed us to draw our own conclusion about whether his popularity poses any threat to our country. Very biased, and just another piece of left wing fear mongering.
41 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Bunky
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Forget this book!
Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2019
This a poorly disguised rant agains Donald Trump - mascaraed as some kind of academic study.
54 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

Mjolnir
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2018
The work is well informed and it makes a good read. It is specially interesting in all that concerns American constitutionalism, past and present. The argumentation is focused on the fail-safe procedures and pitfalls of what we currently take for the democratic system, but...See more
The work is well informed and it makes a good read. It is specially interesting in all that concerns American constitutionalism, past and present. The argumentation is focused on the fail-safe procedures and pitfalls of what we currently take for the democratic system, but surprisingly ignores the factor which, in the last instance, is the most important for the preservation of democracy: the people, the voters themselves. You can build all the fail-safes you want into the democratic system to assure its undefeated continuity, but if you have a manipulable pool of voters, a population of mostly simple-minded, uninstructed, reactive people, incapable of thinking by themselves, receptive to the typical lies forged into all-day-long-sounding slogans by crooked politicians —if you have that, your democracy is doomed no matter what. There is no democracy without an enlightened “demos”. Without it, all you have is a “demofallacy”. Not taking into account this factor, makes the argumentation of the work very academic, yes, but also very weak, specially in what it has as a warning against the future that awaits us. A second weakness has this work too: it takes the democratic system as something good in itself without a critical assessment of its failures and shortcomings, particularly in a time like the present, when there is a price to pay (normally high) for the slow-motion consensus-buildups and decision-making processes typical of the complex system Western democracies are. When rapid and decisive action is required you can’t allow yourself to be stopped into inactivity, which is why the Romans substituted dictatorship for the Republic in times of national crises.
24 people found this helpful
Report
Mario Rossi
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very good read, but rather evalutative for a political science essay
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2019
This book is certainly a good tool to understand ongoing dynamics in the US and elsewhere, with lots of valuable insights and historically and scientifically grounded considerations. However, personal opinions of the two authors overly shines through the lines - to the...See more
This book is certainly a good tool to understand ongoing dynamics in the US and elsewhere, with lots of valuable insights and historically and scientifically grounded considerations. However, personal opinions of the two authors overly shines through the lines - to the potential detriment of their argument. The problem lies with the confusing nature of the book: is it a scientific text or a political manifesto? It is clear the aim leans to the former, but the contrast between the layout of a political science essay and the recurring stimgatising language against the Trump administration and other US politicians is rather striking and seriously risks undermining the underlying scientific validity. I would certainly recommend this book, but with the caveat of being aware of the fact the book is not entrely scientific.
10 people found this helpful
Report
Gordon Logan
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Don''t waste your time with this book. Read Gregg Jarrett on the Russia Hoax.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2020
This book reflects the ideological clampdown that the globalists have imposed on almost all the western media. The book doesn''t say a word about the Deep State driven Russia Hoax, which has been described in detail by Fox New legal analyst Gregg Jarrett. The hoax is an...See more
This book reflects the ideological clampdown that the globalists have imposed on almost all the western media. The book doesn''t say a word about the Deep State driven Russia Hoax, which has been described in detail by Fox New legal analyst Gregg Jarrett. The hoax is an excellent example of an attempt to kill US democracy. I''m no fan of Trump''s, but the Russia hoax may well be the biggest scandal in US political history. However the authors say not a word about it. That sort of self censorship in academia is alien to American democracy. Don''t waste your time with this book. Read Greg Jarrett.
4 people found this helpful
Report
Martin
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lucid but lots of spin
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 24, 2018
The authors are well-respected, but this book has lots of spin. The authors are desperate to highlight the clear and present danger that Trump poses to the American nation, to such a degree that some of their potted history is almost surreal (for instance the bit about the...See more
The authors are well-respected, but this book has lots of spin. The authors are desperate to highlight the clear and present danger that Trump poses to the American nation, to such a degree that some of their potted history is almost surreal (for instance the bit about the collapse of democracy in Chile, which they lay at the feet of the populist Allende -- setting aside the point that Pinochet killed thousands without trial in order to maintain millitary rule). Worth a read, and easy to skim, but it''s social science re-purposed as a political weapon.
12 people found this helpful
Report
MikeOfThunder
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Happily Recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2020
Excellent! It''s very easy to read and as someone who is quite slow at reading, nicely broken down. The book focuses mainly on the breakdown of modern American politics, primarily starting in the 1990s, with the arrival of Gingrich. It talks more about the Republican Party...See more
Excellent! It''s very easy to read and as someone who is quite slow at reading, nicely broken down. The book focuses mainly on the breakdown of modern American politics, primarily starting in the 1990s, with the arrival of Gingrich. It talks more about the Republican Party than just Trump. Throughout it is laced with examples of broken democracies from the 20th and 21st Centuries. Great read. I especially liked the discussion on the importance of political norms and the ''guardrails'' of democracy. Interesting stuff.
3 people found this helpful
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Pages with related products.

  • book lover gift ideas
  • Orange Books

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online

high quality How popular 2021 Democracies Die online