Democracy in Peril

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Author Alan Friedman is a journalist and best-selling author launched his new book “Democracy in Peril” which talks about the ugly side of America where terrible inequality exists and where rising poverty, racism, gun control, and health care issues have polarized the country. The main segment of the book talks about the underlying reasons for the current state of American society, and an assessment of the nation in the wake of the election of a new American president, at a time of great global economic and geopolitical uncertainty, in a world fraught with danger. The book examines how did America get here, and how to get out of this situation? The book tells a story vivid story of democracy, “that is under siege, institutions being threatened and demeaned by the Trump presidency”.

Alan Friedman has interviewed many world leaders including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Silvio Berlusconi. This book also provides a reading of those personalities and is an account of those interactions and inferences on authoritarian rulers. He writes about Trump stating, “He is a conversation hopper, a schmoozer who is in love with the sound of his voice and a man who seems to find it hard to focus for more than a few minutes on any single issue. I remember thinking that his relatively brief attention span, like his out-sized personality and the way he tends to filter much of the world through the prism of his ego, are traits not at all dissimilar to those of other self-made millionaires and oligarchs I had met in my travels.” The book is filled with strong references and criticisms of other global leaders.

The author also interacted with the common citizens who elected trump and to understand the Trump phenomenon. A friendly Texan said, “…whether you agree with them or not, they talk straight, they speak their mind, and they talk in plain language, not like the normal politicians who give speeches and ya never know what they mean”. He made the point that Most political leaders give speeches. Trump ‘talks’ to his supporters, he converses with the electorate. The author suggests that Trump is in many ways the exact opposite of Hillary Clinton, the policy wonk.

The book unravels the social and political churn in America today. The book is unsparing on Trump Presidency and a world that’s turned upside down. If you want to intimately understand today’s America’s trials and tribulations, then this book is for you. The book has chapters on the issues plaguing America today. You may not agree with the authors’ assessments fully but nevertheless, it is a provocative book examining the darker side of the “authoritarian approach” and “illiberal democracy” and its repercussion for the Americans and the world.

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