Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story

August 11, 2020|
Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story by Thomas N. Mitchell
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A history of the world’s first democracy from its beginnings in Athens circa fifth century B.C. to its downfall 200 years later.

The first democracy, established in ancient Greece more than 2,500 years ago, has served as the foundation for every democratic system of government instituted down the centuries. In this lively history, author Thomas N. Mitchell tells the full and remarkable story of how a radical new political order was born out of the revolutionary movements that swept through the Greek world in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., how it took firm hold and evolved over the next two hundred years, and how it was eventually undone by the invading Macedonian conquerors, a superior military power.

Mitchell’s history addresses the most crucial issues surrounding this first paradigm of democratic governance, including what initially inspired the political beliefs underpinning it, the ways the system succeeded and failed, how it enabled both an empire and a cultural revolution that transformed the world of arts and philosophy, and the nature of the Achilles heel that hastened the demise of Athenian democracy.

“A clear, lively, and instructive account…. [Mitchell] has mastered the latest scholarship in the field and put it to good use in interpreting the ancient sources and demonstrating its character and importance in shaping democratic thought and institutions throughout the millennia.”—Donald Kagan, author of The Peloponnesian War

“[Mitchell’s] close scholarship shines in documenting the transition of Athens from financially and morally bankrupt oligarchy to emancipated democracy 2,500 years ago…with a commendable attention to detail that beautifully captures the essence of ancient Greek culture and politics.”—Roslyn Fuller, Irish Times

Title:Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:August 11, 2020
Publisher:Yale University Press (Ignition)
Appropriate for ages:All ages

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