The Democratic Revolution: Struggles for Freedom and Pluralism in the Developing World

Larry Jay Diamond, Author, Carl Gersham, Photographer University Press of America $14.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-932088-68-0
These 11 essays by civic activists and journalists from Asia, Africa and Latin America show that democracy can be nurtured in what was once called the ``Third World.'' While some of these autobiographical accounts are gripping and others too detailed, all describe courageous efforts to confront power not through politics but through institutions of civil society. Journalist Ray Ekpu of Nigeria recounts how his magazine's muckraking led riot police to occupy their offices. Educator Dette Pascual of the Philippines tells how three women drinking coffee, outraged by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, conceived a ``school of democracy'' for ordinary citizens. Diamond, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, convincingly argues that wealthy countries should aid other such institutional efforts. But the book contains seeds of disagreement among proponents of democracy: Costa Rican activist Xavier Zavala Cuadra damns the ``pro-Communist forces'' in Central America without considering their grievances, while Colombian journalist Maria Jimena Duzan, describing the battle against narco-terrorism, suggests that without socioeconomic reform, democracy cannot reach poor people tempted by demagoguery. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 220 pages - 978-0-932088-69-7
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