End of Kings by William R. Everdell
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End of Kings
By William R. Everdell

The End of Kings

A History of Republics and Republicans New edition

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Format: Paperback

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End of Kings by William R. Everdell

Book Description

Written in clear, lively prose, "The End of Kings" traces the history of republican governments and the key figures that are united by the simple republican maxim: "No man shall rule alone." Breathtaking in its scope, Everdell's book moves from the Hebrew Bible, Solon's Athens and Brutus's Rome to the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson and the Watergate proceedings during which Nixon resigned. Along the way, he carefully builds a definition of "republic" which distinguishes democratic republics from aristocratic ones for both history and political science. In a new foreword, Everdell addresses the impeachment trial of President Clinton and argues that impeachment was never meant to punish private crimes. Ultimately, Everdell's brilliant analysis helps us understand how examining the past can shed light on the present. "[An] energetic, aphoristic, wide-ranging book." Marcus Cunliffe, "Washington Post Book World" "Ambitious in conception and presented in a clear and sprightly prose. . . . [This] excellent study . . . is the best statement of the republican faith since Alphonse Aulard's essays almost a century ago." "Choice" "A book which ought to be in the hand of every American who agrees with Benjamin Franklin that the Founding Fathers gave us a Republic and hoped that we would be able to keep it."-Sam J. Ervin, Jr. "

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226224824
ISBN-10: 0226224821
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 155mm x 23mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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US Kirkus Review » This chatty history of republicanism is based on the premise that few Americans today know what a republic is; unfortunately, Everdell, a history teacher at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights, hasn't got it right either. The main point of a republic, to him, is that it stands in opposition to monarchy. He thus acknowledges, but relegates to second place, the fact that a republic is different from a democracy: a republic may be more or less democratic, or more or less aristocratic, and still be a republic. And he finds no evidence for the crucial idea that a republic is a system based on representation. Representation was not a part of the Roman republic, he says, and no part of classical republicanism. This is plain wrong. Evergard disregards the theoretical basis of republicanism in Aristotle's depiction of the polity - composed of the one, the few, and the many - as the best and most stable form of government. The ancient Greeks were democrats, not republicans - their government was based on participation by citizens - while the Roman republic was just that; and it was, contra Everdell, Aristotelian in composition. Everdell's fundamental confusion is compounded when he extols Switzerland as a republic (the federated Swiss cantons are based on direct democracy, not republicanism). Occasionally he does hit on a real republican: Machiavelli, John Milton, John Adams. But also included are Thaddeus Stevens, because he opposed the excessive presidential powers of Andrew Johnson, and Sam Ervin, for a like stand in the case of Richard Nixon. History-by-slogan, and mistaken from the start. (Kirkus Reviews)

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