The Development of the Democratic Idea [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 22 (2):391-392 (1968)


Between two reasonably priced paper covers, in print of adequate size, we have an extensive and unified collection of primary sources displaying the continuity and periodic adjustment of the ideals and practical considerations of democracy. Between Pericles and the present Sherover finds four basic periods: The Classical Heritage, The Democratic Revolutions, The Priority of Freedom, and Contemporary Groundings. The editor introduces each section with a clear and simply stated digest of each thinker's basic ideas and how the thinkers compare with each other. These introductions contain no novel interpretations and will give the student a running start on the readings that follow them. The introductions are also important transitions whose historical perspective gives the book its continuity. The volume might have been strengthened by allowing some of those who have fundamentally challenged the democratic tradition to speak for themselves.--S. O. H.

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