The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It


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"We can no longer assume that liberal democracy is the wave of the future... This splendid book is an invaluable contribution to the debate about what ails democracy, and what can be done about it." --Michael J. Sandel, author of Justice

"Everyone worried about the state of contemporary politics should read this book." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, President of the New America Foundation

The world is in turmoil. From Russia, Turkey, and Egypt to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. As a result, democracy itself may now be at risk.

Two core components of liberal democracy--individual rights and the popular will--are increasingly at war with each other. As the role of money in politics soared and important issues were taken out of public contestation, a system of "rights without democracy" took hold. Populists who rail against this say they want to return power to the people. But in practice they create something just as bad: a system of "democracy without rights." The consequence, as Yascha Mounk shows in this brilliant and timely book, is that trust in politics is dwindling. Citizens are falling out of love with their political system. Democracy is wilting away. Drawing on vivid stories and original research, Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters' discontent: stagnating living standards, fear of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media. To reverse the trend, politicians need to enact radical reforms that benefit the many, not the few.

The People vs. Democracy is the first book to describe both how we got here and what we need to do now. For those unwilling to give up either individual rights or the concept of the popular will, Mounk argues that urgent action is needed, as this may be our last chance to save democracy.

Title:The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It
Edition Language:English
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    The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It Reviews

  • Kressel Housman

    Yascha Mounk, the author of this book, is a political science professor at Harvard University, but I’ve become familiar with him from his podcast on Slate, “The Good Fight.” The fight he is talk...

  • Soren Dayton

    This is, so far, the best book that I have read on the global democratic crisis.I say this for several reasons. First, it admits to the validity of the populist challenge. There has been a fundamental...

  • Judy Cummings

    Adding context to the news and current events of the day, this writer makes sense of it all. I could barely put this book down. Mounk offers a well-researched explanation of why government is the way ...

  • Why-why

    This will have to be the last Yascha Mounk book I read. Mounk has a knack for selecting timely subject matter for his books that address some of the hottest topics of the day, but with very little to ...

  • Linda

    This is one of the best analysis of the populist threat to democracy that I have read. The writing is clear and accessible. It is obvious Mounk’s goal is to reach a wide audience and enlist them in ...

  • Alexandre le Petit

    This book should be read by every democratic enthusiast or every person interested by the age of democratic crisis that we cross. Very well written, accessible and wise, Yascha Mounk, a Harvard teache...

  • Ietrio

    I have no idea what is the category to which this book belongs. It is not propaganda, because it is messy and unclear. It is not precisely academic writing as Mounk moves like popcorn late 20th centur...

  • Mehrsa

    This joins a growing list of books convincing us of the threat to democracy. I think the threat is real, but I didn't read anything in this book that was at all new. Perhaps just the inclusion of the ...

  • Brian

    This is a timely and important book that is well worth reading for anyone who cares about preserving liberal democracy as the best form of government yet devised. I can't begin to do justice to Mounk'...

  • Owlseyes

    Another Fukuyama...