Democracy has been the American religion since
before the Revolution, from New England town halls to the multicultural
democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one
that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans
feeling disengaged, voiceless, and disenfranchised, really be called
democratic? And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the
rising crises we face, how can we average citizens make change happen?
David Graeber, one of the most influential scholars
and activists of his generation, takes readers on a journey through the idea of
democracy, provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical
moments, and extracts their lessons for today, from the birth of Athenian
democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global
revolutions of the twentieth century and the rise of a new generation of
activists. Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of
increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country, a reenergized,
reconceived democracy, one based on consensus, equality, and broad
participation, can yet provide us with the just, free, and fair society we
The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability
of the democratic idea. It offers a fresh take on vital history and an
impassioned argument that radical democracy is, more than ever, our best hope.
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