Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism / Edition 1

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Overview

"With his fundamental grasp of political theory and restless spirit to get at the essence of what threatens modern democracy, Wolin demonstrates that the threats to our democratic traditions and institutions are not always from outside, but may come from within. It is a book that policymakers and scholars of contemporary society should read and reflect upon."—Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School, author of From Higher Aims to Hired Hands

"As we've come to expect from Sheldon Wolin, a tightly argued and deeply revealing book about the dangers of unconstrained capitalism for our democracy."—Robert B. Reich, University of California, Berkeley

"For half a century, Sheldon Wolin has been one of the most distinguished and influential political theorists in the United States and a perceptive observer of the American political scene. In his magisterial latest book, Wolin shows himself at the height of his powers as he presents a highly original, sober, and persuasive account of a number of tendencies in contemporary American society that constitute a significant danger for the future of constitutional democracy. If totalitarianism establishes itself in the United States, it will be in the 'inverted' form Wolin analyzes in this important book."—Raymond Geuss, University of Cambridge

"Wolin's writing has a resonance that binds the canon of political philosophy to unfolding events and present circumstances. In Democracy Incorporated, he contends that the institutions and practices that Americans regarded as their defense against totalitarianism—and other forms of authoritarian domination—have failed them. There is nothing like this book. It is a major, potentially revolutionary contribution to political thought."—Anne Norton, author of Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire

"Powerful and persuasive. Democracy Incorporated does exactly what great political theory should do: it provides a theoretical framework that allows the reader to see the political world anew. It left this reader with an almost nightmarish vision of American politics today, a nightmare all the more terrifying for being so compelling, so vivid, and so real."—Marc Stears, author of Progressives, Pluralists, and the Problems of the State

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the 2008 Lannan Notable Book Award

"If democracy means more than occasional elections and protection of those rights that are compatible with economic and political elites' interests, Wolin's analysis of our democratic predicament is shocking, solid, and fundamentally correct."—C.P. Waligorski, Choice

"Of the many books I've read or skimmed in the past seven years that attempted to get inside the social and political debacles of the present, none has had the chilling clarity and historical discernment of Sheldon S. Wolin's Democracy Incorporated. Building on his fifty years as a political theorist and proponent of radical democracy, Wolin here extends his concern with the extinguishing of the political and its replacement by fraudulent simulations of democratic process."—Jonathan Crary, Artforum

"[W]e need to understand the deep roots of our present troubles ourselves and Wolin's book is an excellent beginning."—Toby Grace, Out in Jersey

"Sheldon Wolin has produced an ambitious and broad-ranging book that examines the current state of democracy in America. . . . Wolin argues that the unquestioned faith in the virtues of free market capitalism has dramatically narrowed the range of policy options that are on the table when debate turns to resolving the US's ills. . . .[T]his is a trenchant and powerful volume."—Alex Waddan, International Affairs

Choice
If democracy means more than occasional elections and protection of those rights that are compatible with economic and political elites' interests, Wolin's analysis of our democratic predicament is shocking, solid, and fundamentally correct.
— C.P. Waligorski
Artforum
Of the many books I've read or skimmed in the past seven years that attempted to get inside the social and political debacles of the present, none has had the chilling clarity and historical discernment of Sheldon S. Wolin's Democracy Incorporated. Building on his fifty years as a political theorist and proponent of radical democracy, Wolin here extends his concern with the extinguishing of the political and its replacement by fraudulent simulations of democratic process.
— Jonathan Crary
Out in Jersey
[W]e need to understand the deep roots of our present troubles ourselves and Wolin's book is an excellent beginning.
— Toby Grace
International Affairs
Sheldon Wolin has produced an ambitious and broad-ranging book that examines the current state of democracy in America. . . . Wolin argues that the unquestioned faith in the virtues of free market capitalism has dramatically narrowed the range of policy options that are on the table when debate turns to resolving the US's ills. . . .[T]his is a trenchant and powerful volume.
— Alex Waddan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691135663
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheldon S. Wolin is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. His books include "Politics and Vision" and "Tocqueville between Two Worlds" (both Princeton).

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xvii preview 1
Chapter One: Myth in the Making 4
Chapter Two: Totalitarianism's Inversion: Beginnings of the Imaginary of a Permanent Global War 15
Chapter Three: Totalitarianism's Inversion, Democracy's Perversion 41
Chapter Four: The New World of Terror 69
Chapter Five: The Utopian Theory of Superpower: The Official Version 82
Chapter Six: The Dynamics of Transformation 95
Chapter Seven: The Dynamics of the Archaic 114
Chapter Eight: The Politics of Superpower: Managed Democracy 131
Chapter Nine: Intellectual Elites against Democracy 159
Chapter Ten: Domestic Politics in the Era of Superpower and Empire 184
Chapter Eleven: Inverted Totalitarianism: Antecedents and Precedents 211
Chapter Twelve: Demotic Moments 238
Chapter Thirteen: Democracy's Prospects: Looking Backwards 259
Notes 293
Index 339

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Sheldon S. Wolin gets at the truth and tells it like no other.

    Sheldon S. Wolin gets at the truth and tells it like no other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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