Democracy in Darkness

Audiobook Details

Author:

Katlyn Marie Carter

Narrated By:

Kate Udall

Length:

14 hrs and 47 mins

File Type:

.m4b

Release Date:

10-31-23

File Size:

426.6 MB

Audiobook Summary

How debates over secrecy and transparency in politics during the eighteenth century shaped modern democracy

Does democracy die in darkness, as the saying suggests? This book reveals that modern democracy was born in secrecy, despite the widespread conviction that transparency was its very essence.

In the years preceding the American and French revolutions, state secrecy came to be seen as despotic—an instrument of monarchy. But as revolutionaries sought to fashion representative government, they faced a dilemma. In a context where gaining public trust seemed to demand transparency, was secrecy ever legitimate? Whether in Philadelphia or Paris, establishing popular sovereignty required navigating between an ideological imperative to eradicate secrets from the state and a practical need to limit transparency in government. The fight over this—dividing revolutionaries and vexing founders—would determine the nature of the world’s first representative democracies.

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