Democracy by Condoleezza Rice
Stories from the Long Road to Freedom

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Some readers may not be convinced, but this book deserves a broad audience, especially in our current political climate.


From the former secretary of state and bestselling author -- a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom.

"This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." --The New York Times
From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.

In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective.

When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world -- from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.

These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.

About Condoleezza Rice

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CONDOLEEZZA RICE was the 66th United States Secretary of State and the first black woman to ever hold that office. Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor. She currently teaches at Stanford University.
Published May 9, 2017 by Twelve. 458 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on May 28 2017
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Democracy
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1


on Mar 21 2017

Some readers may not be convinced, but this book deserves a broad audience, especially in our current political climate.

Read Full Review of Democracy: Stories from the L... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Roberta E. Winter on May 29 2017

At times the book lacks vivid descriptions of events chronicled...There are also hilarious moments with clerics. Most amusing are the many anecdotes involving her disagreements with peevish Donald Rumsfeld...

Read Full Review of Democracy: Stories from the L... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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