03 January 2010

Book: Democracy on Trial

Already in 1995, Basic Books published Jean Bethke Elshtain's "Democracy on Trial":


From the publisher's description: "We confront one another as aggrieved groups rather than as free citizens. Cynicism, boredom, apathy, despair, violence – these have become coin of the civic realm. They are dark signs of the times and a warning that democracy may not be up to the task of satisfying the yearnings it unleashes – yearnings for freedom, fairness, and equality. [...] Beginning with a catalogue of our discontents, Jean Bethke Elshtain asks what has gone wrong and why. She draws on examples from America and other parts of the world as she explores the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender identity [...]. Responding to critics of democracy, ancient and modern, Elshtain urges us to have the courage of our most authentic democratic convictions. We need, she insists, both hope and a sense of reality."

"Kirkus Reviews" wrote: "Seldom have the sources of democracy and its discontents been described with such philosophical passion and insight."

Jean Bethke Elshtain is Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago and holder of the Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at Georgetown University.

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