How Democracies Die Review

Genre = non-fiction, politics, history, philosophy

Author = Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

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So if you’re wondering how democracy has died you literally need to look no further than this book. It shows you the many different interpretations of what democracy is by looking no just at the typical Western democracies but also those in South America and Turkey. It also pulls apart those precious ideas we have about democracy how magical it really is or whether we may need rethink our ideas.

My Pitch To You:

That was quite a cynical description of the book you can tell what my thoughts on democracy really are from that. I mean its not that I don’t think it has its merits but I think it definitely doesn’t need to be put on pedestal as it is today. Especially when there are many flaws attached to it which are mostly in Western countries that politicians are not admitting to. This is one of the reasons the political part of our society has been quite stagnant until now.

So back to the book while I love a Trump rant as much as most of the population of the world right now I think this particular one could have taken up less of the book. However, they spend time explaining the strategy of those slightly beneath him and their rose to power who in most cases might be pulling the purse strings. They deconstructed the idea of American democracy and its flaws which was fascinating and scary at the same time.

I enjoyed the fact that they took democracies from all eras not just present day as it gave me as the reader more of an idea of line of development of the theory of democracy throughout different countries and times. Especially delving into those South American democracies in particular looking at Hugo Chaves’ time in power it was a time that I knew little about but after reading that part I am very interested in exploring it more.

This book has a great pace to it. It shows the timeline of democracy throughout history to modern day which is hard to do in an engaging way as people’s want for instant information and opinions of situations so they have something to say when people ask them which occasionally makes a lot of books like these too broken down. I would like to read this book again merely to pick out the theories of democracies that they pull apart throughout the book as I feel they have a lot of relevance to today. It is a fascinating and gripping read that will certainly make you think about what your interpretation of the word democracy is. I think anyone who has a keen interest in politics and non-fiction will enjoy this book. It is a short read but what I loved most was flicking through their extensive end-notes which have given me more great books and articles to put on my TBR.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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