The Democracy Project

A History, a Crisis, a Movement
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A bold rethinking of the most powerful political idea in the world - democracy - as seen through the lens of the most transformative political movements of our time and the story of how radical democracy can yet transform America.

Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution - from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans feeling disengaged, voiceless, and disenfranchised, really be called democratic? And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the rising crises we face, how can we - average citizens - make change happen?

David Graeber, one of the most influential scholars and activists of his generation, takes listeners on a journey through the idea of democracy, provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical moments, and extracts their lessons for today - from the birth of Athenian democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global revolutions of the 20th century and the rise of a new generation of activists. Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country, a reenergized, reconceived democracy - one based on consensus, equality, and broad participation - can yet provide us with the just, free, and fair society we want.

The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability of the democratic idea. It offers a fresh take on vital history and an impassioned argument that radical democracy is, more than ever, our best hope.

©2013 David Graeber (P)2013 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must-read: such insight, an awakening!

What did you love best about The Democracy Project?

This is one of the handful of gems that make you think in profoundly-different ways.

I heard excellent reviews of Mr. Graeber's book "Debt: the First 5000 Years", but I thought I'd like a more general book to start with and this was perfect.

Explores our assumptions of "democracy", and how Corporate and Government bureaucracy are top-down hierarchies which are quite simply contrary to real democracy.

I've often assumed "anarchism" was somehow extreme or unrealistic, but this book made a very compelling case for how horizontal decision-making is desirable and even practical, featuring numerous real-life examples along with common sense analogies.

This book also tackles the morality of debt and the morality of work head-on, most relevant and fascinating!

What did you like best about this story?

Only special books manage to shake one from one's stupor, or present clear explanations for those nagging ideas that were never understood. This is a lot to ask for, but this book delivers!

Also recommended is Matt Taibbi's book "Griftopia"

Which scene was your favorite?

On top of everything, this book is surprisingly uplifting. Revolutions and revolutionary ideas do indeed cascade into society and our collective consciousness, often seemingly against all odds.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

These book connected so many dots and opened up a new world of ideas and possibilities. For a non-fiction, that is the highest accolade.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

there's a something magic about this book.

I loved the book, but if I had to recap it, it would be hard. The book moves between history and the events of OWS and sums up some thoughts of possible future. I would love an entire book just going through the future of an anarchy world.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as Debt

Didn't finish. Mainly it's because I couldn't help thinking about how the occupy movement ultimately had very little effect on much of anything. However, if you need some tips on how to organize your social/political movement, it might be helpful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

In depth but approachable and extremely interesting book. Must read. Covers the broad concepts and big questions you find yourself asking in the currently political climate.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the graeb does it again

real Shaq and Kobe vibes here. peak performance, dude is killing the game right now

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a must read for anyone interested in politics

I loved this book. it was very thought but not too dense or academic. this book largely focuses on occupy wall street which was a pleasant surprise but adds both a global and historical perspective.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Envisioning alternatives in a dirty, muddled world

Why is it that so many intelligent people talk as though there is no alternative to capitalism? Capitalism does not equal freedom, nor democracy. It is our duty as citizens to study alternatives -especially anarchism. We are already anarchists.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

This is a very thought provoking book about the way our current political structures came to be.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

imperdible

imperdible para los que estén buscando entender cómo renovar la política y qué significan los últimos aContecimientos y movimientos que promueven la libertad y democracia en todos los niveles

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Illuminating

I love everything Graeber has written. While Debt is his most important theoretic work, this is his practical text: setting straight the record on progress.