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Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy, Second Edition
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John Dunn
Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy, Second Edition by John Dunn at Abbey's Bookshop,

Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy, Second Edition

John Dunn


Princeton University Pres

Social & political philosophy;
History of ideas;
Politics & government;
Political science & theory;
Political structures: democracy


256 pages

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Why does democracy - as a word and as an idea - loom so large in the political imagination, though it has so often been misused and misunderstood? Setting the People Free starts by tracing the roots of democracy from an improvised remedy for a local Greek difficulty 2,500 years ago, through its near extinction, to its rebirth amid the struggles of the French Revolution. Celebrated political theorist John Dunn then charts the slow but insistent metamorphosis of democracy over the next 150 years and its apparently overwhelming triumph since 1945. He examines the differences and the extraordinary continuities that modern democratic states share with their Greek antecedents and explains why democracy evokes intellectual and moral scorn for some, and vital allegiance from others. Now with a new preface and conclusion that ground this landmark work firmly in the present, Setting the People Free is a unique and brilliant account of an extraordinary idea.

By:   John Dunn
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780691180038
ISBN 10:   0691180032
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   October 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Dunn wears his erudition lightly and writes clearly and freshly about some of politics' most venerable questions.... Blows a gust of fresh air through the cobwebbed byways of political thought. -John Gray, Independent John Dunn has given us a rare thing: an intellectually aristocratic book written for a profoundly democratic age. -Sunil Khilnani, Financial Times Stimulating and deft.... An impressive and interesting book. -Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph A marvellously rich book. -David Marquand, New Statesman John Dunn's book is much more than a history of democratic ideas.... [It is] among the most original and thought-provoking books on politics to have been published in England for many years, written in a spare, incisive English style which at its best is worthy of Hobbes. -John Sumption, Spectator

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