The Struggle for Self-rule in European and American ThoughtBook - 2016
The history of democracy, in addition to being a tale of social movements and political and economic developments, is also a story of ideas. In Toward Democracy, James T. Kloppenberg explores this story of ideas, focusing on the evolution of democracy in Britain's North American colonies and then in the United States. By concentrating on historical figures whose pivotal texts and framed arguments helped form the concept of democracy, he examines how American ideas and practices both descended and diverged from earlier European, and particularly English, models. Kloppenberg also shows how American thought, in return, profoundly influenced European ideas about democracy-both negatively and positively. Toward Democracy presents the history of democracy from the perspective of those who helped to form its principles. Kloppenberg neither condemns nor endorses these thinkers, but rather offers a fresh look at how these initial democratic ideals have shifted over time. He argues that democracy has remained an ethical model rather than a mere set of institutions, and sheds light on the many failures faced by democracy and its advocates. This discrepancy-between intentions and results-constitutes the tragic irony of democracy. From the beginnings of democracy in the ancient world, through the Enlightenment, and past the French Revolution, James T. Kloppenberg's authoritative work traces the transformation of democracy over centuries, and reveals how nations have repeatedly failed in their attempts to construct democratic societies based on the autonomy and reciprocity they so prized. -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 
Branch Call Number: JC421 .K526 2016
Characteristics: xiv, 892 pages ; 25 cm