Democracy in Europe: A History of an Ideology (Making of Europe)

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9781405111317: Democracy in Europe: A History of an Ideology (Making of Europe)

This history traces the development of democracy in Europe from its origins in ancient Greece up to the present day.


  • Considers all the major watersheds in the development of democracy in modern Europe.
  • Describes the rediscovery of Ancient Greek political ideals by intellectuals at the end of the eighteenth century.
  • Examines the twenty-year crisis from 1789 to 1815, when the repercussions of revolution in France were felt across the European continent.
  • Explains how events in France led to the explosion of democratic movements between 1830 and 1848.
  • Compares the different manifestations of democracy within Eastern and Western Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
  • Considers fascism and its consequences for democracy in Europe during the twentieth century.
  • Demonstrates how in the recent past democracy itself has become the object of ideological battles.

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This history traces the development of democracy in Europe from its origins in ancient Greece up to the present day.


The book opens with the birth of democracy in ancient Greece, and outlines the adoption and adaptation of Greek political ideas by French revolutionaries and intellectuals to suit their own ends. The author then goes on to consider all the major watersheds in the development of democracy in modern Europe: the twenty-year crisis from 1789 to 1815, when the repercussions of revolution in France were felt across the continent; the explosion of democratic movements between 1830 and 1848; the hijacking of democratic processes by Napoleon III, and the débâcle of the Paris Commune. Canfora traces how the spread of Marxist ideas in east and west Europe, the Russian revolution, and the rise of fascism led to a ‘European civil war’ lasting from 1914 until 1945.


In conclusion, the book demonstrates how in the recent past democracy, far from making progress, has in fact become more limited and oligarchic, as indeed it was at the outset, 2,500 years ago.


About the Author:

Luciano Canfora is Professor of Classical Philology at Bari University, Italy. His previous publications include The Ideology of Classicism (1980), The Vanished Library: A Wonder of the Ancient World (1989) and Julius Caesar: The People’s Dictator (2004). He is the editor of Quaderni di Storia, Italy’s premier history journal.

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This history traces the development of democracy in Europe from its origins in ancient Greece up to the present day. Considers all the major watersheds in the development of democracy in modern Europe. Describes the rediscovery of Ancient Greek political ideals by intellectuals at the end of the eighteenth century. Examines the twenty-year crisis from 1789 to 1815, when the repercussions of revolution in France were felt across the European continent. Explains how events in France led to the explosion of democratic movements between 1830 and 1848. Compares the different manifestations of democracy within Eastern and Western Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Considers fascism and its consequences for democracy in Europe during the twentieth century. Demonstrates how in the recent past democracy itself has become the object of ideological battles. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781405111317

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This history traces the development of democracy in Europe from its origins in ancient Greece up to the present day. Considers all the major watersheds in the development of democracy in modern Europe. Describes the rediscovery of Ancient Greek political ideals by intellectuals at the end of the eighteenth century. Examines the twenty-year crisis from 1789 to 1815, when the repercussions of revolution in France were felt across the European continent. Explains how events in France led to the explosion of democratic movements between 1830 and 1848. Compares the different manifestations of democracy within Eastern and Western Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Considers fascism and its consequences for democracy in Europe during the twentieth century. Demonstrates how in the recent past democracy itself has become the object of ideological battles. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781405111317

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