The People vs. Democracy

Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It
Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $27.99

Buy for $27.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The world is in turmoil. From India to Turkey and from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. As a result, Yascha Mounk shows, democracy itself may now be at risk.

Two core components of liberal democracy - individual rights and the popular will - are increasingly at war with each other. As the role of money in politics soared and important issues were taken out of public contestation, a system of “rights without democracy” took hold. Populists who rail against this say they want to return power to the people. But in practice they create something just as bad: a system of “democracy without rights.”

The consequence, Mounk shows in The People vs. Democracy, is that trust in politics is dwindling. Citizens are falling out of love with their political system. Democracy is wilting away. Drawing on vivid stories and original research, Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters’ discontent: stagnating living standards, fears of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media. To reverse the trend, politicians need to enact radical reforms that benefit the many, not the few.

The People vs. Democracy is the first book to go beyond a mere description of the rise of populism. In plain language, it describes both how we got here and where we need to go. For those unwilling to give up on either individual rights or the popular will, Mounk shows, there is little time to waste: this may be our last chance to save democracy.

©2018 Yascha Mounk (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The People vs. Democracy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

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

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

a must read in the new age of political populism

excellent read, super relevant. research based. narration was decent, not great. audio quality was not superb. Yascha Mounk is a treasure. his podcast "the good fight" expands on many of the points touched on in The People vs. Democracy. this should be required reading for all lovers of liberty.

3 people found this helpful

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

A Must Read

A real comprehensive look at what is happening in the United States and around the world as populist governments seem to pop up all over. if you are a fan of Mounk's excellent podcast you will find the narrator a little underwhelming in comparison to Mounk's lively way of speaking.
There is a lot to learn in here and, coming from the left, some sacred cows slain.

2 people found this helpful

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

Final part is worth it

Great review of populism and “how we got here”

If you keep up with politics pretty well, skip to the final section where he makes recommendations.

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

Easily worth a credit despite it's flaws.

Great book for perspective on the history of US democracy, less so for the Both-Sides-Ism that fill the later chapters. The ideas of Democracy Without Liberalism and Liberalism without Democracy are a bit mind-bending to understand but entirely worth the brain sweat. While I hate to knock competent work the narrator's perpetual "GEE WHIZ" affect and tone drove me bonkers. This book really would be better related soberly and straightforwardly instead of like it was being read to preschoolers.

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

good food for thought,

we should not assume that the end liberal democracy means a fall into ruin. ok

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

People Vs Democracy or democracy Vs people?

The explanation of this book is valid for the Western world, and US, in term of why our democracy is on the downfall, and is transforming to semi democracy or democracy without rights, or non liberal democracy as terms, one model is cleared that, if you want to rule or conquer people, make them fears (financial, immigration threat, income instability) and blame it on your opponents, enhancing with fake news in social platforms and that will bring about justification to all the changes populist authoritarian desired, even reverse backward to un-democratic ways of life, but on the contrary, for other under development countries, due to the context is quite different, as most of them, crying for democracy and elected government, but the elite or wealthy families 1% or less, take all 99 % of wealth of the country, that would not want democracy to mature, military coup every 4 years, due to the facts that resources will be re-distributed to the unfortunate and the poor that the elected government promised to delivery to them! That is one aspects may need to cover more on this book, to be completed in all scenarios !

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

Not worth it

I am sorry, but at least three times I wished I could get my money back. A political bashing book without any in depth knowledge. Only the writers personal political beliefs, with less interest than watching 10 hours of MSNBC. Of little academic value. Pass. one star because of conclusion was ok.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lawrence McKay
  • Lawrence McKay
  • 07-12-18

Well-argued, readable book with some overclaiming

A topical and well-researched book with a strong central thesis and stirring defence of liberal democracy. I thought he brought a lot of impressive data to the table, although readers should note that some of the core findings, especially re: millennials turning away from democracy, have been questioned. I liked that it discussed populism/authoritarianism as a global phenomenon and looked at a variety of countries such as South Korea and Poland. But there were some sections that were a touch weak, to my mind. Mounk goes against almost the entirety of the literature on Trump's election to date to argue the fault is equally shared between 'nativism' and economic factors - but brings very little in the way of compelling evidence in support of this. Overall, the book is well-worth reading - even if it sometimes over-states its case. It's contributing to some important conversations. But I would suggest reading some of the criticism of the book and also listening to the Ezra Klein podcasts where he grills Mounk about some of the arguments.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thirsty hippo
  • Thirsty hippo
  • 06-22-20

A book for our times

This book explains... how we got here and into the mess we are in from Trump to Brexit and beyond. From policy to the causes of voter dissatisfaction, it is not merely a critique but offers solutions too.The book was written in pre pandemic era so it is interesting to note Populist leaders have another thing in common, a catastrophic handling of the current pandemic crisis. Who you vote for matters and this book argues that the future of liberal democracy itself is now at risk and from a historical perspective it is something no-one should be complacent about. The book is a timely warning.

Well argued, clear, good narration and overall thought provoking.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pow
  • Pow
  • 03-08-20

Good. but basically no references to Asia.

Good. but basically all references are related to the Western world and very little on Asia.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Timothy Lehmann
  • Timothy Lehmann
  • 07-10-19

Interesting and scary

A well written and easily understood warning about current dangers to liberal democracy. Highly recommended.