Of the People, by the People: A New History of Democracy

Roger Osborne

Of the People, by the People: A New History of Democracy
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Of the People, by the People: A New History of Democracy

Roger Osborne

‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.’ Churchill had more reason than most to rue the power of democracy, having been thrown out of office after leading Britain to victory in 1945. Democracy, when viewed from above, has always been a fickle master; from below it is a powerful but fragile friend. * Of The People, By The People tells the stories of the different democracies that have come into existence during the past two and half millennia, from Athens to Rhaetia, Jamestown to Delhi, and Putney to Pretoria. Democratic systems are always a reflection of the culture and history of their birthplaces, and can only be understood through the fascinating and inspiring stories of the peoples who fought to bring them about. * These individual histories show that real and lasting democracy always arises from beneath, and needs a process of never-ending communal creativity to sustain itself. * Osborne raises profound questions about whether democracy is the engine of prosperity, or a luxury that only the prosperous can afford; and whether its assumption that good government arises from mass participation is an illusion.

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