Democracy in the United States is dying. Does that sentence scare you? If it does, consider reading “How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Since it was published in 2018, the book is up to date. It’s an easy read. With the amount of information that it contains, you would expect it to read like a textbook, but it does not. It takes ideas that can be confusing to understand and lays it out in a simple manner. Those who are not politically inclined would still find it understandable.
So, what is “How Democracies Die” all about? It might be easy to scoff at the idea that it would be possible for democracy to die in the US; we have the Constitution and all those amendments! Surely, it should be okay to be satisfied with the current state of democracy. It is not.
What has always been a seemingly sound form of government for the United States has been slowly but surely eroding. And why is that? What kills a government? Is it the political leaders, or the people who support them? The authors take the readers on a journey of exploring democracies in different countries, and how they have risen and collapsed. “How Democracies Die” doesn’t just focus on the United States, it also delves into other countries. Having examples of other governments to look at gives context to what is occurring in the US.
I would recommend this book to anyone willing to consider ideas that might be scary or outside of your comfort zone. If you want to learn more about the current state of the US government, “How Democracies Die” will give you a lot of information. Like the Washington Post’s new slogan says, “Democracy dies in darkness.” Don’t let our democracy die without learning and enlightening yourself with more perspectives.