Democracy: What does it mean? Why does it matter? The answers to these two critical questions are to be found in Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy. The story begins in Athens with an overview of democracy as practiced in the day-to-day lives of the ancient Athenians, and then turns to Rome and the Italian city-states. There is a section devoted to the effects of war on emergent democracy in the Middle Ages and in France at the time of the Revolution. Democracy in the early years of the United States, before the signing of the Constitution, is explored in detail.
In 1776, the people of Pennsylvania, ordinary folk who felt their government was not fulfilling its social responsibility, wrote their own constitution with no experts to guide their pen. By studying the form of government they created and considering the process that put it in place, we get an inside look at how democracy really works. The book concludes with a review of recent experiments in democracy, especially in India and Latin America.
Democracy is a word oft used but rarely understood. The reader of Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained will have no doubt as to its true meaning.
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Arthur D. Robbins is a psychologist with a practice in Manhattan. He holds a bachelors in English from Queens College, a doctorate in psychology from the New School for Social Research and a doctorate in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University, where he specialized in 18th-century political thought. He has devoted the last ten years to a study of democracy in its historical context.Review:
This eye-opening, earth-shaking book takes us on an engrossing trip through ancient, medieval and modern history. We see how 21st century oligarchs, in their quest for power, have taken an important concept like democracy and emptied it of its true meaning.
Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained by Arthur Robbins is a fresh, torrential shower of revealing insights and vibrant lessons we can use to pursue the blessings and pleasures of a just society through civic efforts that are not as difficult as we have been led to believe.--Ralph Nader
After learning about democratic process, democratic experiments that are now underway, and after considering Robbins proposals for a more democratic government, readers of Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained will emerge with hope rekindled. This is a great book.--Joshua I. Miller, Professor, Department of Government and Law, Lafayette College, author of The Rise and Fall of Democracy in Early America, 1630-1789: The Legacy for Contemporary Politics
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