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Anti-Pluralism

The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy
Narrated by: Matthew Josdal
Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: History, Political
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

The Great Recession, institutional dysfunction, a growing divide between urban and rural prospects, and failed efforts to effectively address immigration have paved the way for a populist backlash that disrupts the postwar bargain between political elites and citizens. Whether today's populism represents a corrective to unfair and obsolete policies or a threat to liberal democracy itself remains up for debate. Yet this much is clear: These challenges indict the triumphalism that accompanied liberal democratic consolidation after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

To respond to today's crisis, good leaders must strive for inclusive economic growth while addressing fraught social and cultural issues, including demographic anxiety, with frank attention. Although reforms may stem the populist tide, liberal democratic life will always leave some citizens unsatisfied. This is a permanent source of vulnerability, but liberal democracy will endure so long as citizens believe it is worth fighting for.

©2018 William A. Galston (P)2018 Tantor

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Understand today`s polarization

a little short and maybe could have used more statistics, but clearly explains todays phenomena of tribalism and polarization. spends much time defending democratic liberalism, but a follow up book is needed to explain better what needs to be done.

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  • JayJay
  • 14-07-18

Informative, but a bit shallow

This is a tricky book to review, because its value to the reader is entirely dependent on what you’re looking for. Galston does an excellent job summarizing current populist trends in Europe and the US, however he comes up very short in insight.

He presents good factual information, but doesn’t do much with it; when he does attempt analysis, (in the last two chapters) the book becomes a rambling mess- devolving into random historical references and philosophical quotes. This problem isn’t helped by the narrator, who has a very bizarre cadence to his speech- you will never in your life be more aware of words ending with the letter “y” than while listening to this book. Check the sample, you’ll see what I mean.

There are so many books out right now on this topic. If you haven’t read any of them, this is an okay place to start- the middle chapters are actually very good and the reason for my 3 star rating. However, if you have read any other book on this topic, you aren’t going to get anything here you haven’t already heard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful