Democracy Incorporated

  • by Sheldon S. Wolin
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Democracy is struggling in America - by now this statement is almost cliche. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"?
Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive - and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" in which the public is sheperded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies.
Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level.
Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightening rod for political debate for years to come.
The book is published by Princeton University Press.

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What the Critics Say

"Sheldon Wolin has produced an ambitious and broad-ranging book that examines the current state of democracy in America.... Wolin argues that the unquestioned faith in the virtues of free market capitalism has dramatically narrowed the range of policy options that are on the table when debate turns to resolving the US's ills... [T]his is a trenchant and powerful volume." (Alex Waddan, International Affairs)
"As we've come to expect from Sheldon Wolin, a tightly argued and deeply revealing book about the dangers of unconstrained capitalism for our democracy." (Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; former U.S. Secretary of Labor)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Essential listening....

Sheldon Wolin's recent work provides an absolutely essential theoretical underpinning for anyone who finds himself (or herself) suspecting that what's going on with the U.S. is really, really uncool. Unlike the well-known media fascisti, it welcomes some real historical knowledge (NOT the bullsh-t platitudes that pass for such) and provides a nuanced, balanced account (Wolin spent many years teaching political philosophy at some major universities) of how real power functions today. If you find writers like Chris Hedges compelling, Wolin is the next logical place to go.
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- M. Levine

Democracy Inc. is so pertinent in light of Trump's presidency

As an educator, I highly recommend this book as an essential companion to social studies curricula.

Knowing the process of how democracy has been co-opted allows us to resist and proceed accordingly. The concept of inverted totalitarianism correlates with the formula posed in the Powell Memo. Folks like Naomi Klein, Chomsky, Henry Giroux, and Richard Wolff have addressed the further dismantling of what's left of our democracy.
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- Xavier Miranda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-30-2010
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks