Democracy by John Dunn
A History

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



For the last twenty-five years, fostering democracy around the world has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Why is democracy so important today? Why should it hold such sway over the political speech of the modern world? In Democracy: A History , John Dunn – England's leading political theorist — sets out to explain the extraordinary presence of democracy in today's world. The story begins in Greece, where it began as an improvised remedy for a very local difficulty twenty–five hundred years ago. Athens gave democracy a name (demokratia) and worked out an elaborate, highly distinctive, and astonishingly thorough interpretation of the political conditions required to achieve it. However, democracy's tenure was short–lived, flourishing briefly and then fading away almost everywhere for nearly two thousand years. Democracy then suddenly reappeared with the founding of the new American republic and amid the struggles of France's Revolution. The word democrat suddenly became a partisan label and a badge of political honor, lending credibility to the idea of transforming human collective life, anywhere and everywhere, to fit the requirements of democracy that are so familiar to us today.

About John Dunn

See more books from this Author
A Fellow of King's College, John Dunn is professor of political theory at Cambridge University.
Published June 5, 2006 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 248 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Democracy

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Dunn (Political Theory/King’s College, Cambridge) comes at democracy from all angles, exploring its changing meaning and impact from its introduction in Athens by the nobleman Kleisthenes in 507 b.c.

| Read Full Review of Democracy: A History

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

• David Runciman is the author of Political Hypocrisy: the Mask of Power from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond (Princeton) Three to read: ruling passions through the ages Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy by John Dunn (Atlantic) This acclaimed history, published in 2005, charts democracy...

Jun 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Democracy: A History

Privacy Policy: This site is read-only at the user level, and thus collects no information on it's users.

| Read Full Review of Democracy: A History

The National Interest

It had to reconcile itself to embracing, on pain of inanition, chaos or barbarism, not America's distinctive culture and self-assurance or its widely envied levels of material comfort, but its hallowed form of government, and above all, its cherished and endlessly honed diagnosis of the special m...

Feb 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Democracy: A History

Rate this book!

Add Review