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The late Bernard Crick’s text is more than a half-century old, yet it feels ripped from today’s headlines. Crick addresses the roots of nationalism, and warns of the dangers of politics based on racial exclusion and vengeance. All of these issues, it seems, existed long before the fall of the Berlin Wall or the rise of social media. Crick even expounds upon the pitfalls of presidential pride, using Abraham Lincoln as a counterpoint.
Ideological purists may find Crick’s arguments about the imperfect, often disappointing nature of democracy difficult to accept. Indeed, given the dogmatism of modern-day political life, Crick’s assertions that democracy cannot exist without compromise and conciliation go, decidedly, against the tide. His academic prose can be daunting, but Crick’s provocative, yet sober-minded, insights reward those who make the effort to continue reading through the more challenging sections of his book.
About the Author
The late Bernard Crick was a British political theorist and democratic socialist. He died in 2008.
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