Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
On Sale: May 9, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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From the former secretary of state and bestselling author --
a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why
America must continue to support the cause of human freedom.
From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet
Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle
East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of
history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third
awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham,
Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement
for black Americans.
In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach
us about democracy. At a time when people around the world
are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares
insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and
citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into
When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt
at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all
countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that
number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever
comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template,
Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world -- from
Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the
Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are
the same because every country starts in a different place.
Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames
for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer
false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that
does not mean they should not try. While the ideal
conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they
never exist in the real world. The question is not how to
create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under
These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced
by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a
continuing struggle shared by people around the world,
whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes,
establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming
mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The
work of securing it is never finished.
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