Published 3 August, 2009 (original link here)
Summer reading for radicals
Hugh Roberts writes: David Cameron, the leader of the opposition says he will start his holiday with a trashy novel, but this is no genre to satisfy progressives during a political and economic crisis. The left is getting existential and it may be our best hope of regeneration. So, under a heavy Mediterranean sun, or driven indoors by British cloud, what might an enlightened radical read this summer?
Of the The Life and Death of Democracy, Roberts writes: Not for backpackers, but though the tome is heavy the prose is light. The master biographer of Tom Paine has given us a biography of self-government right on cue. Some great questions are unaddressed, but an afternoon in his company draws a germane lesson. Democracy is no single form, but a living, breathing organism needing constant cultivation: never still, it only grows or wilts.