Mar 23, 2021
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‘A useful primer on the importance of norms, institutional restraints and civic participation in maintaining a democracy – and how quickly those things can erode when we’re not paying attention.’ – President Barack Obama
‘Anyone who is concerned about the future of democracy should read this brisk, accessible book. Anyone who is not concerned should definitely read it.’ – Daron Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail
‘With great energy and integrity [Levitsky and Ziblatt] apply their expertise to the current problems of the United States.’ – Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
‘We owe the authors a debt of thanks for bringing their deep understanding to bear on the central political issue of the day.’ – Francis Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay’
What’s the worst thing to happen to US democracy recently? Most answers to that question start and end with Donald Trump. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, though as horrified by Trump as anyone, try to take a wider view. This book looks to history to provide a guide for defending democratic norms when they are under threat, and finds that it is possible to fight back. Provocative and readable.’ – David Runciman, The Guardian
‘There are two must-read books about the Trump presidency at the moment. This is the one you probably haven’t heard of. It is also the one that is most useful to British readers. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are anti-Donald Trump politics professors at Harvard. And the big advantage of political scientists over even the shrewdest and luckiest of eavesdropping journalists is that they have the training to give us a bigger picture. They set out some rules about the slow, internal collapse of democracies, which are entirely relevant to Britain…’ – Andrew Marr, The Times’
The greatest of the many merits of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s contribution to what will doubtless be the ballooning discipline of democracy death studies is their rejection of western exceptionalism. They tell inspiring stories I had not heard before…excellent, scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed.’ – Nick Cohen, The Guardian
‘In this brilliant historical synthesis, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how the actions of elected leaders around the world have paved the road to democratic failure, and why the United States is now vulnerable to this same downward spiral. This book should be widely and urgently read as a clarion call to restore the shared beliefs and practices-beyond our formal constitution-that constitute the essential ‘guardrails’ for preserving democracy.’ – Larry Diamond, author of The Spirit of Democracy’
In a new book about Trump’s America, two political scientists from Harvard, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, discuss How Democracies Die. In it they emphasise the importance of not just political rules but how we behave … Got that, Donald?’ – Andrew Marr, The Evening Standard
‘How Democracies Die is a lucid and essential guide… Levitsky and Ziblatt assiduously dismantle the myth of American exceptionalism.’ – Jennifer Szali, The New York Times
‘A must-read.’ – Andrew Marr, The Sunday Times ‘Excellent, scholarly, readable, alarming and level-headed.’ Nick Cohen, The Observer ‘Provocative, timely. One of my favourite reads this year.’ – Elif Shafak, author of The Bastard of Istanbul
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