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  • Published: 8 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802063448
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $28.00

Adventures in Democracy

The Turbulent World of People Power

A political philosopher explores the elusive promises of popular government around the world

In a hyper-competitive world obsessed with rankings, super-wealth and greatness, how can we live up to democratic ideals of equality?

Erica Benner has spent a lifetime thinking about these questions from different angles in different countries - from post-war Japan, where democracy was imposed on a defeated country, to post-communist Poland, with sudden gaps of wealth and security, and the US and South Africa with their legacies of slavery and racism.

Adventures in Democracy draws on her experiences and the deep history of democracies - in ancient Rome and Athens, the American and French revolutions and Renaissance Florence - to offer an unflinching portrait of modern democracy. To salvage democratic institutions and ideals, Benner argues, we need to pay more attention to inequalities and struggles for power among citizens. Probing myths of heroic triumph over tyranny and inexorable progress towards equality, she reveals the vulnerabilities of people power, inviting us to consider why democracy is worth fighting for and the role each citizen must play.

  • Published: 8 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802063448
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $28.00

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Praise for Adventures in Democracy

Praise for Be Like the Fox


A ripping read . . . fascinating, charming, enjoyably unorthodox

Tim Smith-Laing, the Telegraph

Lively, compulsively readable, fluently written and unshowily erudite

Terry Eagleton, the Guardian

A gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them even though independent speech had become impossible.

The New Yorker

An invigorating reflection on the tensions in liberal democracy. Benner weaves together personal reflections on life in Japan and Eastern Europe with a nuanced account of ancient philosophies that are all too often caricatured. Essential reading for anyone tempted to be complacent about the survival of democracy in the twenty-first century

Catherine Fletcher, author of The Beauty and the Terror

This timely work shows how ancient wisdom might save democracies from anarchy and ruin… That she has lived and taught the ideas she writes about gives the book an enjoyable vitality

Emma Duncan, The Times

A sparkling account of people power through the ages, and how to save it from itself . . . a page-turner full of wit, original insight and unassuming erudition . . . a timely reminder that we can all play our part

Katja Hoyer, the Guardian