With talk of democracy in crisis plentiful, especially in Europe, a smart assessment of how well democracies have fared during past crises is badly needed. This is what David Runciman offers – with decidedly mixed results. Runciman is a good writer and a brave pioneer. Little has been published on the subject and (as I realised when attempting something similar in The Life and Death of Democracy) it’s no easy task to compare large numbers of cases from different time periods and come up with a convincing picture of why democracies succeed or fail.
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'The return of nature to Wordsworthian commentary is a corollary of the environmentalist spirit of the age.'
Seamus Perry on Jonathan Bate's 'Radical Wordsworth'.
My review of Samanta Schewblin's 'Little Eyes', in this month's issue of @Lit_Review
'Has the printed book finally outlived its span?' asks @AdamCSDouglas. 'If so, how long can the rare book trade continue? And how much longer can we keep flying in fat-bellied jets to gather in some foreign land to exhibit our wares?'