We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Democracy was born in Athens. From its founding myths to its golden age and its chaotic downfall, it’s rich with lessons for our own times.

Why did vital civil engagement and fair debate descend into paralysis and populism? Can we compare Creon to Trump, Demokratia to the American Constitution or Demosthenes’ On the Crown to the Brexit campaign? And how did a second referenda save the Athenians from a bloodthirsty decision?

With verve and acuity, the heroics and the critics of Athenian democracy are brought to bear on today’s politics, revealing in all its glories and its flaws the system that still survives to execute the power of the people.


Timely and fascinating, this well informed book is highly readable and addresses questions of fundamental importance, as alive for us now as formerly they were for the world's first democracies
Robin Lane Fox
It renders a potentially intimidating topic instantly readable...with forays into protest, voter apathy and the changing face of political engagement, its arguments are compelling, persuasive and more prescient than ever
All About History