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  • Interesting

    I received a free book and the views and opinions are my own. I believe in life long learning and my challenge is to read non-fiction books to learn new things. This book came at the right time with the way the world is heading it was interesting to read the different types of democracy in this world. Starting with the history and showing how we progress and then go back two steps. It was interesting to see how democracy worked in the animal world as well. This is well written and lots of research went into this book. It’s a book that makes you ponder, think and write notes. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn about democracy and how we can obtain it. For the people by the people!

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • A tour de force of research and presentation

    Democracy, a User’s Guide is a tour de force of research, organisation, clarity of thought and presentation that provides the best analysis I’ve read of the multiple aspects of democracy, its failures, successes, and importance as a means of improving the quality of life.  In the Introduction we are asked, “What good is selecting our politicians, if we cannot control our media, police or soldiers? If we must blindly follow our teachers’ and bosses’ commands, is it not a little naïve to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies? And if our resources are controlled by a tiny cabal of plutocrats, bankers and corporations; can we honestly say that our economies are being run for us?”  After reading the book you will know the answer and what you can do about it. The layout is ideal. In every chapter the author states the problem, provides examples, proposes solutions, then summarises—always in a manner that is irreproachably even-handed; criticising when necessary, praising when appropriate in rational and informative prose that is a delight to read. The intriguing history of democracy practiced by other primates is followed by that used by hunter-gatherer societies for hundreds of thousands of years until the relatively recent past when the introduction of farming and towns wrought changes that have led to today’s less than democratic world. Subsequent chapters on the astonishing variety of democratic organisations to be found in every human situation from education to the economy, public service to the media, workplace to politics… inform, entertain and provoke careful thought, while providing essential and, for me at least, new and exciting ideas and information for the debate humans must have if they hope to reshape society as a true democracy for the benefit of everyone, not just the oligarchs. In my opinion, the way we are governed and organise our lives, activities, workplaces and finances should be part of the education curriculum at all levels, if we want our children to enjoy a full and satisfying life. Yet it is rare for schools to examine such things in depth. This book would be a valuable resource for such study in schools at all levels. I can’t help wondering if, instead of the headmaster’s annual rant about the line of succession of English kings, wars and conquests, we had been taught about democratic medieval guilds that protected individual business and workers, then we would have fought harder to prevent the predatory practices of oligarchs whose supermarkets, and other supranational corporations have replaced the legions of small enterprises that used to benefit the community instead of absent shareholders. I heartily recommend this book to everyone interested in the way we are governed, and how we could improve things if we put our minds to it.

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • A Book That will Make you Think

    Joss Sheldon has written another great read. I find him to be a master of writing books that make you go HMMM! I admittedly am an older man with more conservative values, however' I have greatly enjoyed all of Mr. Sheldon's writings. Even though, "Democracy: A User's Guide", is quite different than Sheldon's other books it is well researched and stays true to his more liberal philosophy. I find it very helpful/enlightening to read different views to truly try to round out who I am as a person and citizen. I have the belief that for the majority of people, coexistence is not a problem. Helping their fellow man is not a problem. Sharing and taking care of our people is not a problem. The place my mind went as some of the research came together is that there is a class "war" that is taking place and since they tend to control all of the ways we get information they pit the people against each other through race, gender and any other means possible to keep the country at the 50 / 50 split. Keep the people at odds so they don't see how the elite are working the system, that they establish, for their personal gain. It is sickening when the politicians and corporate leaders break the laws that they establish, hurt or destroy the citizenry and get absolutely no punishment or just enough club fed to say they were punished. "We" all need to really see how we are being manipulated and pull together for the betterment of our world. Everyone should read this book - whether you agree with all or any of the writing, it will make you think and thinking is a great thing.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • New Masterpiece by Joss Sheldon

    You could say I’m a fan of Joss Sheldon’s works! They always keep amazing me and intriguing with their fresh ideas as well as amazing dedication to the subject that the author wishes to talk about! When i learned that there’s a new book coming out, that made my day, and just how could i not get my hands on an advance copy in order to enjoy it? Democracy: a User’s guide, is a fantastic blend of research and Author’s unique writing! It’s a book that everyone should read at least once as it’ll give you all the valuable information to make your own conclusion: what is democracy, and whether we truly live in a democratic world! Explore the world and places and where democracy takes different form, an sometimes (no, often times) the peace is met with unrivaled violence and hatred. Understand what it means to be free! Free to voice your opinion, free to choose something that will have an impact on your life! I highly recommend this book, and trust me, reading it once is not enough, as the book is not for light reading, it awakens you, and makes you think! And currently, we all need that! A good book that will keep you wondering, asking even more questions, and being thirsty for more!

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • Good read for the times we're in now!

    Sheldon pens a unique and interesting political title in DEMOCRACY: A User's Guide/ This is the second book of this author's that I've read. The book gives information that is not just what it means to be democratic, but what it really means, in the heart of a country, especially one trying to heal itself and its citizens. It's an interesting political perspective on rules and rulers, and the control they do and don't have, and the power that is given and that is taken. It's not party against party, it's the construction of our country. I enjoyed this read, and I look forward to reading more by this author. This book is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews.

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