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    Description

    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

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Democracy Project

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Kevin
    • 15/10/2014

    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.

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    • Marcus
    • 31/12/2015

    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.

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    • Avishay
    • 16/04/2021

    Another masterpiece by Graeber!

    A rational analysis of human society and its true values. Exposing the cynical and absurd infrastructure and history of the current governing system which we all know deep within is not how we want to live.

    • Global
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    • Phoebe
    • 15/04/2021

    This should be more famous

    I loved the story of Occupy, which I really had known next to nothing about when it happened, and also the story of democracy, which follows. He is a terrific explainer of things; I never had to rewind because something was too convoluted or dense. Well, I had to rewind once, because I couldn't tell if the reader was saying really or rarely. Also, it's official, I'm an anarchist now. Small a.

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    • jdk
    • 06/04/2021

    Optimistic Anarchism

    I enjoyed this book immensely. Graeber and his occupy comrades putting the frighteners on the powers that be. General Assemblies, consensus, and all the jazz hands stuff. Great! But, I get the feeling that David Graeber was left disappointed as the waves Occupy set rippling, appeared to him, to peter out.

    My view is different. People identified the problem, and those they saw to blame, and collectively, loudly and definitively bought the fight to them.

    This Gandhian fight may not have changed much on Wall St. But they were warned, the message was sent, "if YOU are indeed too big to fail, and yet do, and destroy all WE value, our common wealth, YOU WILL be held responsible by us!" I doubt next time they'll contain the rage.


    I was pleased to hear Amartya Sen's name mentioned. His ideas on human and community development have influenced my life and outlook.

    Vale comrade. Thanks for your work words, and wisdom.

    • Global
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    • Tyler Jennings
    • 18/11/2020

    Democracy Distilled

    Graeber smashes vast society-spanning topics into relatable snippets that make you think about... well, everything! Amazing, 10/10

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    • Anna
    • 23/12/2019

    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.

    • Global
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    • Ryan
    • 21/08/2019

    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.

    • Global
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    • Alan Smithee
    • 08/08/2019

    the graeb does it again

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

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    • Nicholas
    • 10/09/2018

    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.

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    • Julian
    • 10/09/2017

    Nice book, but few new things if you know Graeber

    Was hat Ihnen am allerbesten an The Democracy Project gefallen?

    It's not only a history of Occupy Wallstreet (how it began and ended, which was not really covered by the media), but also broad strokes about democracy in general. About the US' Founding Fathers and greek influence and obviously a bit of ethnography (Graeber's profession). I imagined a few more nitty gritty details about organizing, but here Graeber only gives short references to other authors and talks more about the general experience. I've heard some of his talks and also read his book Debt, so for me there were a few things I'd already heard.

    Was mochten Sie an der Handlung am liebsten?

    Graeber explains why they refrained from making demands. The argument is basicly, that the occupation was Direct Action (as in what anarchists do), to show in practice how democratic organizing can work and sort of rub it in Wallstreet's face. Apart from that, they more or less consciously wanted to leave it to people's imagination what the movement would achieve, so as to mobilize more people. Consequently the crowd was so diverse that it would have been really hard to formulate demands everybody would be onboard with, had they wanted to.

    In the TV series The Newsroom there's an episode where a woman from Occupy Wallstreet is interviewed and the interview goes rather badly for her. In the end she's asked: "What is your best case scenario for how this [the Occupy Movement] ends?" Her answer: "That it doesn't end."

    I thought - just like the liberal protagonists of the series - that's kind of dumb, you've got to have an agenda. You can't just go on protesting. Now I kind of get it. It was more than just a protest, it was an experiment in democracy. But Graeber explains that way better and also I've already written enough.

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