03 January 2010

Books out of print

Out of print, but fully searchable on Google Book Search (including table of contents) is Jon Roper's "Democracy and Its Critics: Anglo-American Democratic Thought in the Nineteenth Century" (Unwin Hyman, 1989):


From the back cover description: "'Democracy has sometimes needed theoretical justification as the drunk has needed the lamp post: more for support than illumination.' Students coming for the first time to the study of democracy often find it difficult to trace the development of the idea and to place it in historical context. In this accessible and informative text, Jon Roper introduces the reader to arguments for and criticisms of the concept of democracy. He does so through examination of the statements and writings of major nineteenth-century politicians and philosophers, in the United States and the United Kingdom."

The critics of democracy discussed here include John C. Calhoun, James Fenimore Cooper, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Carlyle, and William Morris.

Jon Roper is Professor of American Politics at Swansea University, Wales.

Other out-of-print books that provide valuable resources for the study of anti-democratic thought particularly in the context of the USA are not yet available on Google Book Search, but may be to find in university libraries: "Antidemocratic Trends in Twentieth Century America", edited by Roland L. DeLorme and Raymond G. McInnis (Addison-Wesley, 1969), and "Patterns of Anti-Democratic Thought: An Analysis and A Criticism, with special reference to the American political mind in recent times" by David Spitz (Macmillan, 1949).

"Kirkus Reviews" wrote about Spitz' book: "By a member of the Department of Political Science of Ohio State University, this study – in its analysis of what democracy is not [–], speaks vibrantly and clear for what it is. The Spitz definition of democracy is terse and simple. He holds that the democratic state contains ''at least two central ingredients ... the free play of conflicting opinions and the constitutional responsibility of the rulers to be ruled''. Against this he flings the full force of the barrage of anti-democratic thought, the doctrines of individuals, organizations and classes which deny or repudiate democracy. The analysis here is both painstaking and profound, and the book [...] is a rewarding one."

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