Friday, January 16, 2009

Democracy Denied 1905-1915: Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy, by Charles Kurtzman

I am fortunate enough to be reading this new book and reviewing it for the Journal of World History. I can't say too much about it yet, but have a look at the blurb on the dust flap and see if you don't anticipate something good:

In the decade before World War I, a wave of democratic revolutions swept the globe, affecting more than a quarter of the world's population. Revolution transformed Russia, Iran, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Mexico and China. In each case, a pro-democracy movement unseated a long-standing autocracy with startling speed. The nacent democratic regimes held elections, convened parliament, allowed freedom of the press and freedom of association. But the new governments failed in many instances to uphold the rights and freedoms that they proclaimed. Coups d'etat soon undermined the democratic experiments.

... this thoroughly interdisciplinary treatment of the early 20th century upheavals promises to reshape debates about the social origins of democracy, the causes of democratic collapse, the political roles intellectuals, and the international flow of ideas.

Bring on that international flow of ideas!

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