Cover: The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It, from Harvard University PressCover: The People vs. Democracy in HARDCOVER

The People vs. Democracy

Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It

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Product Details


$29.95 • £21.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674976825

Publication: March 2018


400 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

16 graphs


[An] important new book.—E. J. Dionne, Jr., The Washington Post

Mounk convincingly argues that democracy and liberalism are not synonymous and that in the face of uneven growth and a multicultural world, friction (or worse) between the two concepts is now almost predictable. The People vs. Democracy delivers a clear-eyed take on how liberal democracy fell out of favor in swaths of the Anglosphere and elsewhere.—Lloyd Green, The Guardian

To state the obvious, the past year has created a sense of distrust and fatigue between some American citizens and the government. Mounk attempts to identify what has driven citizens to despise politics and what politicians need do to reverse the trend before democracy is irrevocably lost.Entertainment Weekly

[A] new and important book… The value of Mounk’s book is to highlight the importance of both of liberal democracy’s constitutive terms. We need restraints on the exercise of political power to prevent majorities (or those in power) from riding roughshod over the rights of minorities (or those not in power). But we also need public policy to be responsive and accountable to the preferences of the electorate.—Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate

[A] timely new book… [Mounk’s] argument is insightful and powerfully made and warrants significant consideration… Mounk’s book is an unshrinking and badly needed defense of liberalism.—Jerrod A. Laber, Quillette

Provocative reading…and food for thought for anyone with an interest in political trends.Kirkus Reviews

The People vs. Democracy provides an acute analysis of the rise in populist nationalism and the challenges to democracy in our time. If you’ve not heard of Yascha Mounk before, you definitely will in the future.—Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University

Yascha Mounk mounts a powerful argument that liberal democracy stands at a critical point. He shows that the forces of technology, economics, and identity are pulling our political systems toward one of two highly undesirable extremes: illiberal democracies run by populist demagogues and undemocratic liberalisms governed by technocratic elites. He points us wisely toward a domesticated, inclusive nationalism and a renewed civic faith. An important book that should be read widely.—Dani Rodrik, Harvard University

The rise of authoritarian populism shows that we can no longer assume that liberal democracy is the wave of the future. So argues Yascha Mounk in this sobering and astute analysis of our current political moment. This splendid book is an invaluable contribution to the debate about what ails democracy, and what can be done about it.—Michael J. Sandel, Harvard University

Yascha Mounk is sounding a tocsin that we must heed. Minority rights and majority rule are not irrevocably yoked together; as they diverge, the future of liberal democracy is in peril. Everyone worried about the state of contemporary politics should read this book.—Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO, New America