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Our Own Worst Enemy

Nonfiction: Politics
Unabridged   7.9 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/19/2021

Our Own Worst Enemy

The Assault from within on Modern Democracy

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696606530


A contrarian yet highly engaging account of the spread of illiberal and anti-democratic sentiment throughout our culture that places responsibility on the citizens themselves.

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Product Description

Over the past three decades, citizens of democracies who claim to value freedom, tolerance, and the rule of law have increasingly embraced illiberal politicians and platforms. Democracy is in trouble—but who is really to blame?

In Our Own Worst Enemy, Tom Nichols challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere as the result of the deprivations of globalization or the malign decisions of elites. Rather, he places the blame for the rise of illiberalism on the people themselves. Nichols traces the illiberalism of the twenty-first century to the growth of unchecked narcissism, rising standards of living, global peace, and a resistance to change. Ordinary citizens, laden with grievances, have joined forces with political entrepreneurs who thrive on the creation of rage rather than on the encouragement of civic virtue and democratic cooperation. While it will be difficult, Nichols argues that we need to defend democracy by resurrecting the virtues of altruism, compromise, stoicism, and cooperation—and by recognizing how good we've actually had it in the modern world.


"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 Reviews

Author Bio

Tom Nichols is professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College, a columnist for USA Today, and a contributing writer at the Atlantic. His books include The Death of Expertise, No Use: Nuclear Weapons and US National Security, and Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War.