The Death of Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1250162513

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 7148

A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen. Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.
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The Death of Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735234825

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 5784

A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany's leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler's hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicans show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.
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The Death of Democracy

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 147354498X

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 1892

‘Brilliant. A timely reminder of the fragility of democracy and the dangers of extreme nationalism.’ Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps 'Intelligent, well-informed... intriguing.' The Times 'In this post-truth, alternative-facts American moment, The Death of Democracy is essential reading.’ Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland ‘An outstanding accomplishment.’ Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland A revelatory account of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, based on new and award-winning research, and recently discovered archival material. The Death of Democracy explores one of the great questions in all of human history: what caused the fall of one of the most progressive governments in twentieth-century Europe, and the rise of the most terrifying? Drawing on extraordinary individual stories to illustrate its broader arguments, this revelatory new account presents a panoramic portrait of Germany at a turning point, focusing on the global dimension of the Nazi phenomenon as part of a widespread reaction against a world order of triumphant, cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism after the First World War. This was a world situation that pushed its opponents to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution reliant upon the innovative exploitation of new media technologies, and the formidable political and self-promotional skills of its leader. Based on award-winning research and recently discovered archival material, The Death of Democracy is an authoritative and panoramic new survey of one of the most pivotal periods in modern history, and a book with a clear and important message for the world today.
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The Life and Death of Democracy

Author: John Keane

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393058352

Category: History

Page: 958

View: 8236

A provocative history of world democracy chronicles the practices of the ancient Myceans through the manifestations of democracy in today's world while considering such notions as the origins of democracy and whether or not the western world lives up to democratic ideals. By the author of The Media and Democracy.
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How Democracies Die

Author: Steven Levitsky,Daniel Ziblatt

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 1524762938

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 5248

Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy
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The Death of "Why?"

The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy

Author: Andrea Batista Schlesinger

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

ISBN: 1609944445

Category: Political Science

Page: 200

View: 642

The spirit of inquiry is the engine of democracy. The democratic process is nothing less than citizens regularly asking what kind of society they want to live in and whom they want to lead them. But more and more people are avoiding the whole messy business of questioning. Americans are instead being trained to look for ready-made answers, with potentially dire implications for the health of our society. In this impassioned new book, Andrea Batista Schlesinger argues that we’re besieged by cultural forces that urge us to avoid independent thought and critical analysis. The media reduces politics to a spectator sport, focusing on polls and personalities rather than issues and ideas. Schools teach to standardized tests—students learn to fill in the bubbles, not open their minds. “Financial literacy” courses have replaced civics classes, graduating smart shoppers rather than informed citizens. Even the Internet promotes habits that discourage inquiry. Regurgitating search-engine results becomes a substitute for genuine research and reflection. Social networks promote connection rather than engagement. With all the information available online, over a third of those younger than twenty-five say they get no news on a typical day, up from 25 percent in 1998. The situation isn’t hopeless. Batista Schlesinger spotlights individuals and institutions across the country that are working to renew a healthy sense of curiosity and skepticism, particularly in American’s youth. It is, at this point, an uphill battle but one well worth undertaking. The Death of “Why?” offers both a penetrating socio-cultural critique of our current path and a way forward for cultivating inquiry and reinvigorating our democracy.
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Democracy and the Death of Shame

Author: Jill Locke

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107063191

Category: History

Page: 218

View: 9126

Is shame dead? With personal information made so widely available, an eroding public/private distinction, and a therapeutic turn in public discourse, many seem to think so. People across the political spectrum have criticized these developments and sought to resurrect shame in order to protect privacy and invigorate democratic politics. Democracy and the Death of Shame reads the fear that 'shame is dead' as an expression of anxiety about the social disturbance endemic to democratic politics. Far from an essential supplement to democracy, the recurring call to 'bring back shame' and other civilizing mores is a disciplinary reaction to the work of democratic citizens who extend the meaning of political equality into social realms. Rereadings from the ancient Cynics to the mid-twentieth century challenge the view that shame is dead and show how shame, as a politically charged idea, is disavowed, invoked, and negotiated in moments of democratic struggle.
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The Death of Social Democracy

Political Consequences in the 21st Century

Author: Ashley Lavelle

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317036379

Category: Political Science

Page: 234

View: 1134

Whereas many writers and scholars interested in the field of social democracy have focused on factors such as the role of economic globalization and electoral pressures, Ashley Lavelle explores the importance of the collapse of the post-war economic boom and lower growth rates since then. He examines how these pressures have led social democrats to embrace neo-liberal policies and become threatened by minor parties and independent politicians. Providing an original argument about the decline of social democracy, the author investigates how its decline has increased the popularity of minor parties and independents, along with the reasons for social democratic membership and electoral decline. This is an important book for scholars of social democracy and the broader themes of world politics, political parties, social movements and globalization.
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The Silent Takeover

Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy

Author: Noreena Hertz

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743241894

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 522

Named one of the best books of the year by The Sunday Times of London, and already a bestseller in England, Noreena Hertz's The Silent Takeover explains how corporations in the age of globalization are changing our lives, our society, and our future -- and are threatening the very basis of our democracy. Of the world's 100 largest economies, fifty-one are now corporations, only forty-nine are nation-states. The sales of General Motors and Ford are greater than the GDP (gross domestic product) of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, and Wal-Mart now has a turnover higher than the revenues of most of the states of Eastern Europe. Yet few of us are fully aware of the growing dominance of big business: newspapers continue to place news of the actions of governments on the front page, with business news relegated to the inside pages. But do governments really have more influence over our lives than businesses? Do the parties for which we vote have any real freedom of choice in their actions? Already sparking intense debate in England and on the Continent, The Silent Takeover provides a new and startling take on the way we live now and who really governs us. The widely acclaimed young socio-economist Noreena Hertz brilliantly and passionately reveals how corporations across the world manipulate and pressure governments by means both legal and illegal; how protest, be it in the form of the protesters of Seattle and Genoa or the boycotting of genetically altered foods, is often becoming a more effective political weapon than the ballot-box; and how corporations in many parts of the world are taking over from the state responsibility for everything from providing technology for schools to healthcare for the community. While the activities of business, frequently under pressure from the media and the consuming public, can range from the beneficial to the pernicious, neither public protest nor corporate power is in any way democratic. What is the fate of democracy in the world of the silent takeover? The Silent Takeover asks us to recognize the growing contradictions of a world divided between haves and have-nots, of gated communities next to ghettos, of extreme poverty and unbelievable riches. In the face of these unacceptable extremes, Noreena Hertz outlines a new agenda to revitalize politics and renew democracy.
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Burning the Reichstag

An Investigation Into the Third Reich's Enduring Mystery

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199322325

Category: History

Page: 413

View: 3163

Delving into the controversy surrounding the fire that burned down the Reichstag and ignited the Third Reich, this gripping account of Hitler's rise to dictatorship reopens the arson case, profiling key figures and making use of new sources and archives to reinvestigate one of the greatest mysteries of the Nazi period.
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The Death of Expertise

The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters

Author: Tom Nichols

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190469439

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 6349

People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.
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DEATH IN THE TIERGARTEN

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674038614

Category: History

Page: 303

View: 728

From Alexanderplatz, the bustling Berlin square ringed by bleak slums, to Moabit, site of the city's most feared prison, Death in the Tiergarten illuminates the culture of criminal justice in late imperial Germany. In vivid prose, Benjamin Hett examines daily movement through the Berlin criminal courts and the lawyers, judges, jurors, thieves, pimps, and murderers who inhabited this world. Drawing on previously untapped sources, including court records, pamphlet literature, and pulp novels, Hett examines how the law reflected the broader urban culture and politics of a rapidly changing city. In this book, German criminal law looks very different from conventional narratives of a rigid, static system with authoritarian continuities traceable from Bismarck to Hitler. From the murder trial of Anna and Hermann Heinze in 1891 to the surprising treatment of the notorious Captain of Koepenick in 1906, Hett illuminates a transformation in the criminal justice system that unleashed a culture war fought over issues of permissiveness versus discipline, the boundaries of public discussion of crime and sexuality, and the role of gender in the courts. Trained in both the law and history, Hett offers a uniquely valuable perspective on the dynamic intersections of law and society, and presents an impressive new view of early twentieth-century German history. Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction 1. In Moabit 2. The Berlin of Surrogates 3. Honorable Men 4. Justice Is Blind 5. "Were People More Pitiless Fifteen Years Ago?" Epilogue Appendix: Regimes and Rulers Abbreviations Notes Archival and Primary Sources Index Death in the Tiergarten is an impressive book. Written in a light and entertaining style, with elegance and wit, it is a rich source of thought-provoking insights. Hett offers his own distinct spin on some of the common themes of Berlin literature--crime, sex, sensation, mass media, and the dramatic character of life in the modern metropolis. This unusually successful and effective work of scholarship has the potential to reach a broad audience. --Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri at Columbia An extremely rich and well-argued analysis of the culture of the criminal courtroom in Wilhelmine Germany. Using stories about love, lust, betrayal, and honor--crime stories and city stories--Benjamin Hett pries open Berlin's public life in brilliant, unexpected ways. --Peter Fritzsche, author of Reading Berlin 1900
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Crossing Hitler

The Man Who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199708592

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 6803

During a 1931 trial of four Nazi stormtroopers, known as the Eden Dance Palace trial, Hans Litten grilled Hitler in a brilliant and merciless three-hour cross-examination, forcing him into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage (the transcription of Hitler's full testimony is included.) At the time, Hitler was still trying to prove his embrace of legal methods, and distancing himself from his stormtroopers. The courageous Litten revealed his true intentions, and in the process, posed a real threat to Nazi ambition. When the Nazis seized power two years after the trial, friends and family urged Litten to flee the country. He stayed and was sent to the concentration camps, where he worked on translations of medieval German poetry, shared the money and food he was sent by his wealthy family, and taught working-class inmates about art and literature. When Jewish prisoners at Dachau were locked in their barracks for weeks at a time, Litten kept them sane by reciting great works from memory. After five years of torture and hard labor-and a daring escape that failed-Litten gave up hope of survival. His story was ultimately tragic but, as Benjamin Hett writes in this gripping narrative, it is also redemptive. "It is a story of human nobility in the face of barbarism." The first full-length biography of Litten, the book also explores the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. [in sidebar] Winner of the 2007 Fraenkel Prize for outstanding work of contemporary history, in manuscript. To be published throughout the world.
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Thailand Unhinged

Unraveling the Myth of a Thai-style Democracy

Author: Federico Ferrara

Publisher: Equinox Publishing

ISBN: 9793780762

Category: Political Science

Page: 152

View: 2102

"Thailand Unhinged: Unraveling the Myth of a Thai-Style Democracy" offers a trenchant analysis of Thai politics and society over the tumultuous years that followed the ouster of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thailand's ongoing political crisis is explained through the prism of the country's painful post-absolutist history - a history marred by the systematic sabotage of any meaningful democratic development, the routine hijacking of democratic institutions, and the continued suffocation of the Thai people's democratic aspirations orchestrated by an unelected ruling class in an increasingly desperate attempt to hold on to its power. The book includes scathing critiques of both Thaksin's administration as well as the military-backed government that came to power in late 2008, following the week-long siege of the country's busiest airports staged by the "yellow shirts" of the People's Alliance for Democracy. The essays are written in a provocative, confrontational style - making "Thailand Unhinged" a decidedly unconventional mix of academic scholarship, literary journalism, and radical pamphleteering. About the Author FEDERICO FERRARA (PhD, Harvard University) works as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He will be joining the City University of Hong Kong's Department of Asian and International Studies in 2010.
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The Road to Unfreedom

Russia, Europe, America

Author: Timothy Snyder

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

ISBN: 0525574484

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 6315

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be absolute. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. But we now know this to be premature. Authoritarianism first returned in Russia, as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power. In the last six years, it has creeped from east to west as nationalism inflames Europe, abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare. While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns towards authoritarianism, the electoral upsets of 2016 revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries’ longstanding policies and values. But this threat to the West also presents the opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy. By showcasing the stark choices before us—between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood—Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.
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How Democracy Ends

Author: David Runciman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541616790

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 1395

How will democracy end? And what will replace it? A preeminent political scientist examines the past, present, and future of an endangered political philosophy Since the end of World War II, democracy's sweep across the globe seemed inexorable. Yet today, it seems radically imperiled, even in some of the world's most stable democracies. How bad could things get? In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman argues that we are trapped in outdated twentieth-century ideas of democratic failure. By fixating on coups and violence, we are focusing on the wrong threats. Our societies are too affluent, too elderly, and too networked to fall apart as they did in the past. We need new ways of thinking the unthinkable--a twenty-first-century vision of the end of democracy, and whether its collapse might allow us to move forward to something better. A provocative book by a major political philosopher, How Democracy Ends asks the most trenchant questions that underlie the disturbing patterns of our contemporary political life.
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Democracy as Death

The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa

Author: Jason Hickel

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520284224

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 1280

The revolution that brought the African National Congress (ANC) to power in South Africa was fractured by internal conflict. Migrant workers from rural Zululand rejected many of the egalitarian values and policies fundamental to the ANC’s liberal democratic platform and organized themselves in an attempt to sabotage the movement. This anti-democracy stance, which persists today as a direct critique of “freedom” in neoliberal South Africa, hinges on an idealized vision of the rural home and a hierarchical social order crafted in part by the technologies of colonial governance over the past century. In analyzing this conflict, Jason Hickel contributes to broad theoretical debates about liberalism and democratization in the postcolonial world. Democracy as Death interrogates the Western ideals of individual freedom and agency from the perspective of those who oppose such ideals, and questions the assumptions underpinning theories of anti-liberal movements. The book argues that both democracy and the political science that attempts to explain resistance to it presuppose a model of personhood native to Western capitalism, which may not operate cross-culturally.
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