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4.14.2018

How Democracies Die ~ Review

How Democracies Die 
by Steven Levitsky 
   and Daniel Ziblatt

This book explores the state of our democracy in today's current political unrest. Our democracy is teetering on the edge but this wasn't a sudden situation but rather one that has been building over the last couple decades. But how did we get to this point? And can we pull back from the edge before it is too late?

How Democracies Die looks at other countries who have found themselves in a similar state. Efforts to restore democratic leadership only works if the rules of law are followed. Attempts to wrest government controls by other means paint those behind it as anti-democratic rather than defenders of democracy. Lines of communication must be opened between the partisan camps to reverse our further descent into the political circus that is becoming the norm. Is any one side more to blame than the other? Or is it a collaborative effort of those who are more focused on self rather than the whole?  

This book is an interesting and thoughtful work. Those who have a love of political science and want to delve into the current situations both here and abroad will want to have this book in their personal library. Those who are homeschooling will want this book when studying government in high school. This book doesn't descend into rumor and innuendo but rather looks at facts and historical records. 

I was provided a copy of this book by Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
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.