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Cartledge, Paul Democracy: A Life

ISBN 13: 9780190866273

Democracy: A Life

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9780190866273: Democracy: A Life
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Ancient Greece first coined the concept of "democracy", yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker-from Plato and Aristotle onwards- was ambivalent towards or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation for this is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to a dictatorship of the proletariat.

In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system. In addition, by drawing out the salient differences between ancient and modern forms of democracy he enables a richer understanding of both.

Cartledge contends that there is no one "ancient Greek democracy" as pure and simple as is often believed. Democracy surveys the emergence and development of Greek politics, the invention of political theory, and-intimately connected to the latter- the birth of democracy, first at Athens in c. 500 BCE and then at its greatest flourishing in the Greek world 150 years later. Cartledge then traces the decline of genuinely democratic Greek institutions at the hands of the Macedonians and-subsequently and decisively-the Romans. Throughout, he sheds light on the variety of democratic practices in the classical world as well as on their similarities to and dissimilarities from modern democratic forms, from the American and French revolutions to contemporary political thought. Authoritative and accessible, Cartledge's book will be regarded as the best account of ancient democracy and its long afterlife for many years to come.

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About the Author:


Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. He is an honorary citizen of modern Sparta and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor awarded by the President of Greece. His previous books include The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 1997, 2002), The Spartans (Random House, 2004), Alexander the Great (Random House, 2005), Thermopylae (Random House, 2007), Ancient Greece (OUP, 2009), and After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (OUP, 2013).

Review:


"Paul Cartledge's Democracy: A Life is a fascinating read, looking at the origins of the democratic ideal in ancient Greece and... how it has fared historically." --Times Higher Education Supplement


"A compact but rich education in classics and democracy, from a leading expert who delights in his subject... No library should be without this wonderful book, in which Cartledge has abundantly shared his love and knowledge of ancient Greece with us."-Kirkus Reviews (starred)


"The huge value of Cartledge's book is the reminder that 2016 is merely a way-stop on a very long journey indeed."-Tom Holland, The Guardian


"Thanks to Cartledge, Athenian democracy feels more vital than it has done for decades. It is a belter of a book."-Peter Thonemann, Books of the Year 2016, Times Literary Supplement


"Paul Cartledge subtitles his new study Democracy (Oxford) A Life, and was right to do so.... The clarity and zest with which he pursues his Snark-like quarry, the breadth and variety of his reading, and his cheerful persistence against odds (matching that of his subject) combine to make this an unexpectedly enjoyable page-turner."-Peter Green, Books of the Year 2016, Times Literary Supplement


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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Ancient Greece first coined the concept of democracy, yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker-from Plato and Aristotle onwards- was ambivalent towards or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation for this is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount toa dictatorship of the proletariat. In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system. In addition, by drawing out the salient differencesbetween ancient and modern forms of democracy he enables a richer understanding of both. Cartledge contends that there is no one ancient Greek democracy as pure and simple as is often believed. Democracy surveys the emergence and development of Greek politics, the invention of political theory, and-intimately connected to the latter- the birth of democracy, first at Athens in c. 500BCE and then at its greatest flourishing in the Greek world 150 years later. Cartledge then traces the decline of genuinely democratic Greek institutions at the hands of the Macedonians and-subsequently and decisively-the Romans. Throughout, he sheds light on the variety of democratic practices inthe classical world as well as on their similarities to and dissimilarities from modern democratic forms, from the American and French revolutions to contemporary political thought. Authoritative and accessible, Cartledge's book will be regarded as the best account of ancient democracy and its longafterlife for many years to come. Seller Inventory # APC9780190866273

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Ancient Greece first coined the concept of democracy, yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker-from Plato and Aristotle onwards- was ambivalent towards or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation for this is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount toa dictatorship of the proletariat. In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system. In addition, by drawing out the salient differencesbetween ancient and modern forms of democracy he enables a richer understanding of both. Cartledge contends that there is no one ancient Greek democracy as pure and simple as is often believed. Democracy surveys the emergence and development of Greek politics, the invention of political theory, and-intimately connected to the latter- the birth of democracy, first at Athens in c. 500BCE and then at its greatest flourishing in the Greek world 150 years later. Cartledge then traces the decline of genuinely democratic Greek institutions at the hands of the Macedonians and-subsequently and decisively-the Romans. Throughout, he sheds light on the variety of democratic practices inthe classical world as well as on their similarities to and dissimilarities from modern democratic forms, from the American and French revolutions to contemporary political thought. Authoritative and accessible, Cartledge's book will be regarded as the best account of ancient democracy and its longafterlife for many years to come. Seller Inventory # BZE9780190866273

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