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Democracy and Its Crisis

Narrated by: Philip Franks
Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Regular price: £14.99
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Summary

Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, A. C. Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage and why, crucially, it matters. 

First he considers moments in history - Periclean Athens, the English Civil War, the American and French Revolutions, among them - in which the challenges we face today were first encountered and what solutions, however imperfect, were found. 

Then he lays bare the specific problems of democracy in the 21st century and maps out a set of urgently needed reforms. With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the simultaneous rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, says Grayling, if a civilised society that looks after all its people is to flourish.

©2017 A. C. Grayling (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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The existential threat to our democratic values.

A thoughtful review of where we are in the West regarding our perception and current application of what we consider as democratic governance.
Some disquieting observations but constructive remedies suggested in the final pages of this excellent book.

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Too full of opinion, but a good history lesson...

A shame this audio book was not voiced by AC Grayling himself. This book covers a good bit of ground in terms of political history but was a bit too dry for my to fully enjoy. It lacks depth of character and intends to make a political statement rather than talk about the machinations of politics in a more general sense.

Much of this book is attempting an apologetic for the UK leaving the EU and Trump, specifically why these events are the fault of a political subversion rather than considering both sides of the argument. In real terms the UK had wanted an EU referendum ever since we decided not to join the Euro and become part of the European project at large – we didn’t, and still don’t, share their view of unification because it so damages the very political system which the author deems to advocate.

The failure of politics, to my mind, is a failure of representation and a pushback against a number of lies commonly touted by those who attain power. Lies such as ‘immigration down to the tens of thousands’ which then amount to closer to half a million highlight the sheer inept nature of their supposed sovereignty.

The point is that this book fails to actually uncover the root of political thought in favour of bearing a political creed. It should have been co-authored with a different viewpoint to temper it’s dogmatism or edited by a contentious objector who may suggest using people, places and times to inject some life into these overly sober and sombre words!