Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom

Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom

by Condoleezza Rice


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From the former secretary of state and bestselling author — a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom.

"This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." — The New York Times

From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.

In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective.

When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world — from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.

These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455540181
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 345,204
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Condoleezza Rice was the sixty-sixth US secretary of state and the first black woman to hold that office. Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as national security adviser. She is a professor at Stanford University and cofounder of RiceHadleyGates LLC. Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011), Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010), Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017), and Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018).

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Introduction: Is Democracy in Retreat? 5

Chapter 1 The American Experience 25

Chapter 2 Russia and the Weight of History 68

Chapter 3 Martial Law and the Origins of Polish Democracy 126

Chapter 4 Ukraine: "A Made-Up Country"? 166

Chapter 5 Kenya: "Save Our Beloved Country" 202

Chapter 6 Colombia: The Era of Democratic Security 236

Chapter 7 The Middle East: Can Democracy Exist in a Cauldron? 267

Iraq: When Tyrants Fall 273

Egypt and Tunisia: When Old Men Fail 330

Arab Monarchies: Will They Reform? 355

Chapter 8 Are Authoritarians So Bad? 380

Chapter 9 What Democracy Must Deliver 402

Chapter 10 "Democracy Is the Worst… Except for All the Others" 416

Epilogue: They Will Look to America 431

2016 439

Acknowledgments 445

Notes 449

Bibliography 465

Index 467

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