Americans have long believed that they live in a democratic nation--where government is responsive to the people and where wealth and happiness are available to all. In fact, as this work explores, the American government has never sought equality and is often more loyal to business and affluence than to the aspirations of the average citizen. This book delves into the violations of democracy, uncovering the pandering to corporations, the cultural manipulations of people, the violations of fundamental rights.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reassessing Democracy based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I wasn't expecting much from this little advertised book, but Shafer's very readable style--and probing eye--makes this as good as anything from the more established authors and presses. The chapters are not arcane or overly long and the violations of democracy that are revealed are nothing short of fascinating. The author looks at education and the legacy of American imperialism. He looks at Iraq and the way cinema undermines diverse cultural thought. Whether or not you agree or like his left-wing politics, this short work is provocative reading--and that's always good. The chapter on cinema is itself worth the book's price. This is a diamond in the rough.
If you enjoy the alternative scholarship of Michael Parenti and Noam Chomsky, you'll appreciate Reassessing Democracy. It is a readable and utterly intriguing work on the various ways America is not really very democratic. The author suggests that this is no mistake--that it never has aspired to democracy but has perpetuated this myth as a part of its lure and cultural lore. From the fact that one can be arrested for disparaging meat to the failure of schools to offer real,undiluted education, this book is a fascinating read. With the war in Iraq generating its share of questions, readers will be interested in the chapter about the Iraq war and the way censorship stifled many who wanted to look for WMDs and shoot later. Are we really democratic? This book will make you think twice and demand more. It should be required reading in college.