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Democracy is not inherently good, Zakaria (From Wealth to Power) tells us in his thought-provoking and timely second book. It works in some situations and not others, and needs strong limits to function properly. The editor of Newsweek International and former managing editor of Foreign Affairs takes us on a tour of democracy's deficiencies, beginning with the reminder that in 1933 Germans elected the Nazis. While most Western governments are both democratic and liberal-i.e., characterized by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic rights-the two don't necessarily go hand in hand. Zakaria praises countries like Singapore, Chile and Mexico for liberalizing their economies first and then their political systems, and compares them to other Third World countries "that proclaimed themselves democracies immediately after their independence, while they were poor and unstable, [but] became dictatorships within a decade." But Zakaria contends that something has also gone wrong with democracy in America, which has descended into "a simple-minded populism that values popularity and openness." The solution, Zakaria says, is more appointed bodies, like the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Supreme Court, which are effective precisely because they are insulated from political pressures. Zakaria provides a much-needed intellectual framework for many current foreign policy dilemmas, arguing that the United States should support a liberalizing dictator like Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, be wary of an elected "thug" like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and take care to remake Afghanistan and Iraq into societies that are not merely democratic but free.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Newsweek International's editor exposes the down side of democracy, i.e., the assumption that what's popular is right.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This si an excellent book, all you could ask for, well researched and timely. Worth the money.Published 3 months ago by Bill Davies
Never ever I thought that a socio-politico-economic treatise could be such a breeze. Not only is it an interesting book, but also one that will leave you on the edge of your... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2007 by J. SANDHU
Mr. Zakaria's thesis is that we live in a democratic age, but we'd be better off with less democracy, not more. Read morePublished on March 21 2004 by Gary C. Marfin
A must read for any serious student of History and Political Science. A highly readable work.
Mr Zakaria develops well documented, lucid arguments to explain WHY democratic... Read more
The author of this book is the editor of Newsweek International and a political analyst for ABC news. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2004 by Linda Linguvic
"The Future of Freedom" is worth reading if only because it calls into question one of our most unexamined assumptions: that democracy is inherently good and that more democracy,... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by "amm6176"
Zakaria skillfully outlines a theory present in both the founding of the American Republic and one that appears in some relatively recent academia--i.e. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Evan N. Campbell
"The Future of Freedom" is a difficult book to review, in part because the author hedges his bets. The book contains many fragments of wisdom, but it also conveys one Big Idea: the... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004 by Larry Willmore
I strongly recommend this book to anybody interested in public policy, particularly as it has pertains to the functioning of democracy both here and abroad. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by John V. Kjellman