Shortlist year: 2010

Shortlist category: Non-fiction

Published by: Simon & Schuster

The Life and Death of Democracy will inspire and shock its readers. Presenting the first grand history of democracy for well over a century, it poses along the way some tough and timely questions: how did democratic ideals and institutions come to have the shape they do today? Given all the recent fanfare about democracy promotion, why are many people now gripped by the feeling that a bad moon is rising over all the world's democracies? Do they indeed have a future? Or is perhaps democracy fated to melt away, along with our polar ice caps?

Stylishly written, this superb book confronts its readers with an entirely fresh and irreverent look at the past, present and future of democracy.

About the author

John Keane

John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Westminster, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the founder of the first Centre for the Study of Democracy in London.

Among his books are Democracy and Society (1988); Tom Paine: A Political Life (1995); and Vaclav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts (1999). More recently he has written Democracy and Media Decadence (2013).

Since being shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards his book The Life and Death of Democracy has been translated into Portuguese, Greek, Brazilian, Chinese and Japanese.

John Keane wrote the timeline for the new Museum of Australian Democracy and served as a member of the American-based Institutions of Democracy Commission.