By George Novack
Americans talk a great deal about democracy but know very little about its real history. This work by an outstanding socialist scholar reviews the development of political democracy from its emergence among the ancient Greeks to the contemporary world.
This is the first comprehensive history from the Marxist standpoint of democracy in all its important aspects. It traces the sequence of its evolution through the three successive stages of precapitalist democracy, the rise and decline of bourgeois democracy and the problems and prospect of socialist democracy in the twentieth century.
Especially noteworthy are its recapitulations of the revolutionary struggles from the sixteenth-century Dutch republic to the American Civil War that paved the way for liberal democracy in the West; its critical analysis of democracy in the United States today; and its clarifying treatment of the conflict between the bureaucratic and democratic forces and tendencies in the postcapitalist regimes from the Soviet Union to Cuba since 1917.
The final chapter aims to answer the frequently asked query: what reasons are there to expect that, in the event of a victorious socialist revolution in the United States, the American people will enjoy more democratic rights and greater control over their lives than under capitalist rule?