Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea
Original Air Date: November 7, 2018
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; The Passion of Michel Foucault; 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 is the author of Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). 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 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. 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.