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Paperback The Irony of Democracy : An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics Book

ISBN: 0495501239

ISBN13: 9780495501237

The Irony of Democracy : An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics

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Book Overview

While most American politics texts address American politics from a pluralist perspective, THE IRONY OF DEMOCRACY: AN UNCOMMON INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS, Fourteenth Edition, approaches the subject by addressing the theme of elitism and contrasting it with democratic theory and modern pluralist theory. Its key question is, "How democratic is American society?"

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Life Altering

Decades ago The Irony of Democracy sat upon the thrift store shelf, literally whispering to me, calling out to be read. Forking over the twenty-five cent piece (US currency) I boldly strode to the abode and commenced devouring the words within. Over the years I read the book again then yet again. Ultimately, over a 35 year period, I believe the total number of readings has been either five or six. Each time I interpreted the words, sentences, paragraphs and more in different ways as my knowledge base and, I hope, my wisdom, very slightly expanded as I amassed knowledge and wisdom from extensive non-fiction reading from many subject areas along with life experience. I must warn thee, my fellow Americans, that perhaps it MAY be best for you to ignore this book. To shun it. To flee if you espy it and to avert your eyes wherever it appears. "Why, you Disgruntled Old Coot?" I can imagine you shouting out in wonderment. Because... you may, possibly, perhaps, be altered into some form of disgruntled yourself. This book, combined with gained knowledge from other sources along with my individual life experience has altered the indoctrination/brainwashing all Americans are exposed to from our earliest years from a bewildering variety of sources. Once I was a much less complex creature, blindly believing that what our Founders created was, though imperfect as is all that is human created, a truly wondrous entity of governing. So immersed was I in the indoctrination I ignored so much evidence to the contrary and also enlisted in the USA military, prancing off to two overseas tours to "defend" the USA and Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic; ready to sacrifice my life "for the cause." But, The Irony of Democracy opened my eyes and the neural pathways nestled within my most empty head. As I shrugged off the indoctrination over time AND learned what the Founders created and how the federal government is supposed to operate (information not delivered to most Americans via the mass media, babbling politicians spewing their rhetoric and our educational system, especially at the K-12th grade levels) I became disgusted, angered, ill-at-ease, many negative emotions and thought processes that I eventually became hostile towards the federal government, America's elite class and many other systems, sub-systems, institutions, bureaucracies, etc. that comprise many parts of that which, as a whole, is labeled the USA. Yes, there IS much good about the USA but too many of the institutions we are immersed in are corrupt, usurped by an elite class who abandoned the "honor" the Founders apparently intended to guide the elite class through the centuries. From the jack-booted thugs to corporate America to wealthy/powerful special interest groups, the intended power of "We, the People", has been cast aside as an upper-crust has continually spat upon the masses of citizenry while walking upon our backs, shoving too many of us face first into the mire of e

Awesome Book

I got this book for an American government class, but I have read from it time and again for my own enrichment. It gave me a whole new perspective on the political and social structure of our government and the world, that goes much deeper than Rep/Dem or Conservative/Liberal. This is a one of a kind book for any independent thinker questioning the status quo.

Republicans Read...

Tearing through the apathetic and thoughtless reviews throughout this page prompted me to commnt on them. I read this book in one day and coming from a semi-wealthy household of 5 I appreciate how the author is truly brutally honest. The problems with our government revolve around the greedy, elitist conservatives who only wish to gain power in office to ensure a financially secure future. As for the true public discourse, this book not only outlines what the democratic rhetoric is but how it better serves for a basis of all injustices throughout the government. If you like Al Franken, you will surely love this book, filled with rich, semi-didactic information about our ailing country.

Non-Voters Like Me Are Good for the Country!

I read this book for an introductory political science course in junior college and I enjoyed it so much that, although I was not planning to be a political science major, I decided not to sell this book back to the college. This textbook is a thorough , well-written, and well-organized study of the basics of American democracy (or republicanism, if you will). The authors are brutally honest in their overview of the American democratic system. The irony of democracy?: "Elites-not masses-govern the United States" and, my favorite, "that democratic ideals survive because the masses are generally apathetic and inactive" (the masses breed intolerance, you see). Among the fifteen chapters is one entitled "Elite-Mass Communication: Television, the Press, and the Pollsters," which I found to be very interesting.

Should be required reading in government schools

This book came to my attention as I was studying for my BA in Political Science and has been one of the the foundations for my political perspective ever since.Some of the other reviews really don't get it, but it is really pretty simple and pretty disturbing1. this is a republican form of government, not a pure democracy2. any move towards a pure democracy usually comes at the expense of liberty, which is why our founding fathers set the system up as they did3. the average guy on the street, if given the chance, would be motivated to actually vote away the bill of rights most likely because he is an ignorant product of government schooling. this is the most disturbing fact in the book and supported with more than adequate research - that our democracy actually has more support within what are commonly called elite groups than it has among the "common" man4. despite what the left wing pundits say, having a multiplicity of players in the political game (including corporations) is a desirable thing because the competing elites tend to check and cancel each other out. This is called the theory of democratic pluralism.5. told you it was easy, now comes the hard part ending the influence of the teacher's union on national politics
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