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Democracy
Cover of Democracy
Democracy
Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom the former secretary of state and bestselling author — a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom."This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." —The New York Times From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective.When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the worldfrom Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom the former secretary of state and bestselling author — a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom."This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." —The New York Times From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective.When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the worldfrom Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.
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About the Author-
  • Condoleezza Rice was the sixty-sixth US Secretary of State and the first black woman to hold that office. Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor. She is a professor at Stanford University and co-founder of the RiceHadley Group. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine The subject of democracy--how it begins and how bad actors cause it to fail--is personal to author and narrator Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state. Rice's delivery of her introduction makes the listener want to hear more of her voice, and the emotion she conveys adds strength to her argument for democracy. The handoff to Grace Angela Henry, who narrates the chapters, is seamless. Henry's reading is not passionate or academic--the text won't allow it--but she smartly conveys her own interest to engage listeners. Though one can assume Henry has not been at a negotiation table, she excels at capturing the tension and hope that characterize the effort to find common ground. M.P.P. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 27, 2017
    Between her academic background in political science and her experience as national security advisor and secretary of state for George W. Bush, Rice could be expected to provide unique insights into the challenges currently facing democracy worldwide. Instead, she blandly avers that “the overall trajectory is worth celebrating,” despite her own description of Russia as a “failed democratic experiment.” Rice also opines that “dashed expectations that democracy’s march would be linear” account, at least in part, for fears that democratic governments are actively on the decline. Beyond such unilluminating statements, Rice traces the history of democracy across the modern world, relating familiar facts about the U.S., Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She also cannot resist blaming the Obama administration for depriving Iraq of a better future by deciding to pull American troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011, pursuant to an agreement with the Iraqi government that she had been party to. Rice’s post-Trump election epilogue is equally unsatisfying—she states that it is “stunning” that mature democracies like the U.S. have been affected by the global rise in populism, nativism, and isolationism, but concludes that it is too early to know whether the international order in place since the end of WWII will survive.

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