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Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault from within on Modern Democracy 1st Edition

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review


"While democracy does battle with other political ideologies--fascism, communism, socialism--its most difficult battle is always with itself, the inherent contradiction that is both its greatest strength and most glaring vulnerability. The challenges we face in the 21st century are of a different magnitude, but rooted in this central truth: Democracy takes work. Tom Nichols' outstanding book is where we begin." -- Ian Bremmer, President and Founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media

 


"Maybe it's not imaginary conspiracies but rather our own failures--moral, intellectual, political--that are leading Americans to support incompetent, inarticulate and even authoritarian politicians. That's the thesis that Tom Nichols argues amusingly and persuasively in this book before concluding that reform must begin from within." -- Anne Applebaum, staff writer for
The Atlantic, and author of Twilight of Democracy

 


"Nichols has nailed the problem that ails our democracies - and it is us: The narcissism, self-indulgence and nostalgia that come from a society in which the depth of our pockets are matched by the shallowness of our minds. Nichols neither gives into despair nor falls for simplistic solutions. He offers a wise, acute and unblinking measure of our failings--and the glimpse of a way out." -- Edward Luce, S national editor and columnist,
Financial Times, and author of The Retreat of Western Liberalism

 


"The eloquent jeremiad, that brilliant form of lamentation, is alive and well in the able hands of Tom Nichols. You don't have to agree with him on everything to appreciate his deep commitment to liberal democracy, his horror in the face of authoritarian demagoguery, and his call on democratic citizens to embrace knowledge and virtue. Nichols is that rarest of creatures, a happy scold who believes that deep down, even we terribly flawed human beings are capable of aspiring to higher purposes." -- E. J. Dionne Jr, author of
Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our
Country

 


"Taking freedom and democracy for granted is a fatal mistake.
Our Own Worst Enemy explains why even the greatest nation on Earth isn't immune to the destructive effects of cynicism and ignorance. It is both a history lesson and a sharp examination of painful recent events. The forces of illiberalism are on the rise, and it's not clear that liberal democracy is up to the challenge. This book makes the essential case that ignoring politics is a luxury the citizens of the free world can no longer afford. Being a successful chessplayer requires understanding yourself and your own decision-making process. As Tom Nichols demonstrates in Our Own Worst Enemy, it turns out that's also required to be a successful country. America has enough enemies without turning on itself." -- Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Renew Democracy Initiative, author of Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, and the former world chess champion

 


"There are few silver linings to the monstrous transformation of the American right: one has been discovering the stalwart minority of decent, intelligent, honest conservatives who fiercely and absolutely reject the party of Trump--such as Tom Nichols.
Our Own Worst Enemy is his thoughtful and thought-provoking diagnosis of our urgent democratic crises, which provided me the important pleasure of enjoying, learning from, and arguing with it." -- Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses and Fantasyland

 


"Nichols provides bleak but thought-provoking analysis...
Our Own Worst Enemy is a blistering critique of twenty-first-century American politics."--Foreword Reviews

 


"A searing critique of contemporary political culture and the rise of illiberalism on both the right and the left."--
Publishers Weekly

 


"A strong argument for civic reengagement."--
Kirkus

 

 

About the Author


Tom Nichols,
Professor of National Security Affairs, US Naval War College

Tom Nichols is Professor of National Security Affairs, US Naval War College, a columnist for USA Today, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of The Death of Expertise (Oxford 2017), No Use: Nuclear Weapons and US National Security (2013), and Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War (2008). He is also an instructor at the Harvard Extension School and an adjunct professor at the US Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies. He is a former aide in the US Senate and has been a Fellow of the International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oxford University Press; 1st edition (August 19, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0197518877
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0197518878
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.82 x 1 x 8.49 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 676 ratings

About the author

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Tom Nichols is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He was a professor of national security affairs for 25 years at the U.S. Naval War College, and is the author of The Death of Expertise (Oxford 2017) as well as books on Russia, the Cold War, nuclear weapons, and the future of armed conflict. He is also an instructor at the Harvard Extension School and an adjunct professor at the US Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies. He is a former aide in the U.S. Senate and has been a Fellow of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

He is also a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City, a Fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University, and a Senior Fellow of the Graham Center for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto. Previously he was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

In 2017 Tom was named one of POLITICO Magazine's "POLITICO 50," the thinkers whose ideas are shaking up American politics and public life.

Tom is also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion. He played in the 1994 Tournament of Champions, is listed in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame, and as one of the game's top players was invited to participate in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions, where he played his final match.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
676 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Shounak Sarkar
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read book on the state of cultural decay in the world, which has scary imp
Reviewed in Australia on November 5, 2021