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Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative Paperback – June 17, 2000

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  • Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative
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Editorial Reviews


“Roberto Mangabeira Unger’s project is breathtaking ... He is writing what may be the most powerful social theory of the second half of the century.”—Geoffrey Hawthorn

“A philosophical mind out of the Third World turning the tables, to become synoptist and seer of the First.”—Perry Anderson

“[Unger] does not make moves in any game we know how to play ... [His] book will someday make possible a new national romance ... [It] will help the literate ... citizens of some country to see vistas where before they saw only dangers—see a hitherto undreamt-of national future.”—Richard Rorty

About the Author

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is one of the leading social and political thinkers in the world today. He is also active in Brazilian politics. Verso has published much of his work: False Necessity: Antinecessitarian Social Theory in the Service of Radical Democracy, What Should Legal Analysis Become?, Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative, Politics, and The Left Alternative.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (June 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859840094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859840092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K S Sastry on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unger is a proactive progressive who does not want to sit idle when the world is being taken over by currency speculators, multinational investors, and global mutual fund managers, what Thomas Friedman calls the 'electronic herd'. Unger's substantive plea needs to be heeded by every right-thinking denizen of this planet.
Unger is in serious error, howewer, in one important aspects of his action program. His program of taxation, saving and investment flows from the same faulty premises of establishment economists. His sugestion to replace the progressive income tax by a flat consumption tax is outrageous. Several studies have shown that this would exacerbate income inequalities and, in particular, enrich the top income group at the expense of the bottom income group.
I agree with him so far as the desirability of flat tax is concerned so that, among other advantages, this eliminates the scope for discretionary decision-making by the powers that be. But, the way to make sure the change does not adversely affect the lower income groups is to adopt the 'basic income/flat tax' approach advocated by by A.B. Atkinson and others.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Norman Strojny on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Democracy Realized: the progressive alternative" by Roberto Mangabeira Unger is a very difficult book to read. K S Sastry, the only other purchaser/reviewer to date, summarizes the book fairly, but I wish Verso, the book's publisher, had hired a very good writer of English text to work with the author to make this book much more readable. Throughout the book the author consistently uses very complex sentences and complex vocabulary with the result that this book is one of the most difficult to read of any books that I have tried to read.

I believe that Unger has very worthwhile ideas and I wish I understood what he is saying to a greater extent than I can manage with the current text. I am sure the text is worth much more effort by the publisher to make it more readable. At present, I think the text is too difficult for most undergraduate college level readers or casual readers of economics or politics.

Be sure to try to read the book before purchasing it.
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