How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky

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Read How Democracies Die Online Free - A bracing, revelatory look at the demise of liberal democracies around the world--and a road map for rescuing our own

Donald Trump's presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we'd be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang--in a revolution or military coup--but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die--and how ours can be saved.

Title : How Democracies Die
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1524762938
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Michael rated it ★★★★☆

January 18, 2018

I have not read Fire and Fury and doubt that I will. It seems too much like gossip to me, and too similar to the truckload of OBAMA IS DESTROYING AMERICA books that occurred during the last administration. But I bought How Democracy Dies the first day it came out, and read it in an evening becaus...

Faith rated it ★★★★★

January 30, 2018

This is a well-researched analysis of the factors leading to the death of democracies, the signs of the rise of authoritarianism and the threats to the checks and balances that were supposed to prevent the election of demagogues. It outlines strategies employed by elected authoritarians to consol...

Nancy rated it ★★★★★

February 18, 2018

This book is a sobering consideration of how democratic governments have, through subtle and even legal steps, evolved into authoritarian states. If American norms--political interaction not legislated but tacitly agreed upon--continue to be eroded we, too, could quickly find ourselves watching t...

Richard rated it ★★★★★

December 26, 2017

Depressing! I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Written by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, and published in the United States by Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, New Yo...

Peter rated it ★★★★☆

January 19, 2018

Lays the blame for the fall of democracies on the erosion of the guardrails (unwritten rules) of the polity. Also lays a big chunk of the blame for the decay of democracy at the party or legal gatekeepers failing to weed out extremists and outsiders. Outsiders and extremists are not well known fo...

Jean rated it ★★★★★

February 18, 2018

I found this book fascinating. Ziblatt and Levitsky are respected scholars in the field of democracy studies. They teach at Harvard University. The book is well written and researched. It is written in an easy to read style that is easy for the lay person to follow. The first part of the book revi...

Caren rated it ★★★★★

January 24, 2018

Fascinating book! I put everything aside this weekend and read it in a day. The authors, both professors of government at Harvard, not only look at warning signs of a democracy's decline based on others countries which have fallen into authoritarianism, but also at points in American history when...

Gary rated it ★★★☆☆

January 16, 2018

On the surface, this is a book about the internal contradictions of democracy and how those vulnerabilities can be exploited by those interested in authoritarian power with, in the case of the Republicans, a “white nationalist appeal.” It’s a valid assessment to about half of us, and they make a...

Angie rated it ★★★★☆

January 05, 2018

When we think of a democracy dying, what comes to mind is usually a military coup or civil war or other sudden violent action. In How Democracies Die, Harvard Government professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt show how countries can lose their democracy more slowly and insidiously, often wi...

Bruce rated it ★★★★☆

January 22, 2018

Rating a book like this with stars is entirely irrelevant. Written by two Harvard professors who have studied the lives and deaths of democracies around the world, the book rings a sober alarm about the precarious state of American democracy today. It lays out step by step how democracies have we...

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