James Miller

presents

Can Democracy Work?:
A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
5
Friday
October 5, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed author and politics professor JAMES MILLER for a discussion of his latest book, Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World.

About Can Democracy Work?

Today, democracy is the world’s only broadly accepted political system, and yet it has become synonymous with disappointment and crisis. How did it come to this? In Can Democracy Work?, James Miller, the author of the classic history of 1960s protest Democracy Is in the Streets, offers a lively, surprising, and urgent history of the democratic idea from its first stirrings to the present. As he shows, democracy has always been rife with inner tensions. The ancient Greeks preferred to choose leaders by lottery and regarded elections as inherently corrupt and undemocratic. The French revolutionaries sought to incarnate the popular will, but many of them came to see the people as the enemy. And in the United States, the franchise would be extended to some even as it was taken from others. Amid the wars and revolutions of the twentieth century, communists, liberals, and nationalists all sought to claim the ideals of democracy for themselves―even as they manifestly failed to realize them.

Ranging from the theaters of Athens to the tents of Occupy Wall Street, Can Democracy Work? is an entertaining and insightful guide to our most cherished―and vexed―ideal.

Praise

“This is a bold, eloquent, and utterly convincing history of what democracy has meant and should mean―from the Assembly of ancient Greece to the anti-Trump resistance. James Miller has produced one of the wisest reflections on the glories and limits of popular rule I have ever read." ―Michael Kazin, author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History

“Democracy has always been at the center of James Miller’s career, whether he was investigating the sublime theories of the Enlightenment or the street politics of the 1960s. Now, at the very moment of democracy’s apparent endangerment, one of its best friends offers up the most capacious and inspiring history of it ever composed. From the Greeks to the present, Miller’s light touch and profound insight join each other on every page to make this a truly indispensable work for the present crisis.” ―Samuel Moyn, author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

“No one is better qualified to wrestle with the riddle of democracy than James Miller, which is why I have been eagerly awaiting this brilliant and necessary book. Can Democracy Work? is an eloquent, clear-eyed account of democracy’s myriad challenges. This concise and compelling history deserves to be read and debated by all who still dare to dream of a society of equals. These pages left me feeling better prepared and reinvigorated to work toward a more democratic future.” ―Astra Taylor, director of What is Democracy? and author of The People’s Platform

James Miller
James Miller

James Miller

James Miller is a professor of politics and liberal studies at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche; Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947–1977; and Democracy Is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago. He lives in New York City.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

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