Dahl defends democracy against various criticisms, including anarchism and its tenet that even democracy is coercive; the normative view that democracy is less desirable than elite rule; and the empirical claim that democracy is impossible due to an inevitable existence of an elite. Dahl argues that a widespread distribution of wealth is necessary for meaningful political democracy, an idea he discussed more fully in A Preface to Economic Democracy ( LJ 9/1/85). He also suggests how political institutions can prevent control by elites by incorporating groups of randomly selected citizens into the system. Dahl is well-known in political science for his major contributions to democratic theory; although this book contains material revised from earlier works, it is a necessary purchase for graduate libraries and recommended for undergraduate and public libraries.
- David Steiniche, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.