A Princeton University social sciences professor explains how democracy is founded not just on liberty and equality, but also on uncertainty. He suggests concretely how democracy's critical infrastructure of intermediary institutions could be renovated, re-empowering citizens while also preserving a place for professionals such as journalists and judges.
... lively ... It should be said that Müller’s concept of populism — as something that’s inherently opposed to pluralism and ultimately democracy — is pejorative and not uncontroversial, especially among those on the left who want to reclaim the word. But his definition also offers the benefit of a clarifying specificity ... this is one of those rare books about a pressing subject that reads less like a forced march than an inviting stroll ... Müller takes care to situate the United States in an international context, using examples from other countries to illuminating effect ... hopeful, though its author cautions that he’s not particularly optimistic.
In this fascinating, readable work, the author helps readers understand exactly how democracy is meant to work. Meticulously researched and clearly spelled out, the narrative demonstrates what democracy is and isn’t ... For such an all-encompassing, often messy, and contentious subject, the author maintains a concise, consistently informative narrative that explains key terms and theoretical frameworks in a way that should engage a wide audience. An essential examination of what democracy is and can be, how it can be abused or strengthened, and how we can move forward.