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The History of an Idea

By Rob de Veer - PART English translation


A long, nascent history underlies the groundwork of this book. It started with a very persistent sense of wonder leading to an ever-growing doubt about the actuality of sufficient orientation and energy in current western societies to be able to cope with the many problems surrounding our modern-day democratic environment. These problems arose largely as responses to developments that were already at stake in our western cultures even longer ago, especially during the nineteenth century and before, in Europe as well as in the United States. A striking aspect in the present situation is the obscure significance that the term ‘democracy’ has for many. There is little uniformity to be detected, although we can discern that in the past century the term had been awarded international approval, an almost universal legitimacy.


The author looks at the shared cultural aspects such as norms, expectations, values and objectives that could, in their mutual interaction, lead to a culture pattern in which democracy could become a shared endeavour. He decided to search for the first conceptual foundation from which Athenian democracy possibly arose.


This book is a journey of discovery through western cultural history. Every cultural period can be seen as a way station, adopting or omitting something from the previous period and giving a new or more developed meaning to humanity. It is also an account with a strong sociological, anthropological and philosophical slant. In this book the sense of freedom and the sense of human dignity, with all the changing interpretations that have developed during this long journey, are at the centre.



1 Prologue

2 The beginnings of Europe

3 Rome

4 Christian Europe

5 Classics Recovered

6 Occurring Modernity

7 Disappearing Absolutism

8 Post Modern Freedom

9 Epilogue


Additional Information:

Seeking initial publication as well as Foreign Rights

Approx. 280 pages

Rights: World


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