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Power & the People: Five Lessons from the Birthplace of Democracy

Alev Scott, Andronike Makres

3 Reviews

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Politics & government

An enlightening, entertaining and bitesize book about how Ancient Athenian democracy relates to the most urgent political issues of our day, for fans of Mary Beard's Women & Power and Yanis Varoufakis's Talking to my Daughter about the Economy

Democracy was born in Athens. From its founding myths to its golden age and its chaotic downfall, it's rich with lessons for our own times.

Why did vital civil engagement and fair debate descend into paralysis and populism? Can we compare Creon to Trump, Demokratia to the American Constitution or Demosthenes' On the Crown to the Brexit campaign? And how did a second referenda save the Athenians from a bloodthirsty decision?

With verve and acuity, the heroics and the critics of Athenian democracy are brought to bear on today's politics, revealing in all its glories and its flaws the system that still survives to execute the power of the people.

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Praise for Power & the People: Five Lessons from the Birthplace of Democracy

  • A lovely, lyrical and always insightful account that is as much about the present as the past. A joy from start to finish. - Peter Frankopan, on Ottoman Odyssey

  • Beautifully written with clear-eyed judgements and a sharp ear for fascinating anecdote and memorable characters. Exhilarating and often eye-opening, it shows this crucial region of the world from a new perspective. Essential reading for anyone interested in Turkey and its history. - Michael Wood, on Ottoman Odyssey

  • She writes with a maturity and insight that belies her age, and is surely a rising star of the literary world. - Saul David, Telegraph, on Ottoman Odyssey

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Alev Scott

Alev Scott was born in London in 1987 to a Turkish mother and a British father. She studied Classics at Oxford before working in London as an assistant director in theatre and opera. In 2011 she moved to Istanbul, where she taught Latin at the Bosphorus University. Her first book, Turkish Awakening, was published in 2014. Alev writes for numerous publications, including the Guardian. Her second book, Ottoman Odyssey, was shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award in 2019. Her third book is Power & the People, written with Andronike Makres.

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