Recommended Readings, The Times We Live In
Comments 8

Lessons from the death of democracies

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt was tapped as my Book of the Year when I first read it in 2018. I bring it up again today, just three short weeks before our election,

It took me less than a minute to find these four recent threats to our democracy: flagrant disregard for the law, violent threats against political opponents, attempts to lock-in minority rule, and overt racism. That was enough to lead me to highlight this sobering work yet again.

Levitsky and Ziblatt are two Harvard professors who have spent twenty years studying the decline of democracies all around the world.  Their research shows that more often than not, it is the slow decline of institutions such as the judiciary and press that lead countries to move from democratic to authoritarian governments. 

This accessible book is highly recommended, and perhaps should be required reading for the entire country at this point in time. If you have any doubts about the seriousness of the fight to save our democracy, this is as good a book as any to consult.

More to come…


NOTE #1: During October, I am writing articles on how history and the places where history happened can help us understand the issues we are facing as a country and a democracy. Besides this book review on how democracies die, you can find posts on racial violencereligious liberty, voter suppression and revealed history by clicking on the links.

NOTE #2: My initial review of this work was buried in the middle of a series of short reviews of books read over my summer break. I bring it out here in a short, separate review so I can highlight and reference it at this crucial time.

This entry was posted in: Recommended Readings, The Times We Live In


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


  1. Pingback: History tells us democracy is the objective | More to Come...

  2. Pingback: Recovered songs, recovered stories | More to Come...

  3. Pingback: Let’s take a road trip to help understand the history behind religious liberty | More to Come...

  4. Pingback: Let’s stop celebrating a past that never existed. Instead, let’s understand and honor the one that did. | More to Come...

  5. Pingback: Be a good boy…and follow your mother’s advice | More to Come...

  6. Pingback: Misinformation and the threat to democracy | More to Come...

  7. Pingback: Democracy is never permanent…and the work to keep it never ends | More to Come...

  8. Pingback: Best of the blog: Top Ten Posts of 2020 | More to Come...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.