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Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism

Publisher: Encounter • November 24, 2017 • 280 pages

We have seen the rise of populist movements across the political spectrum, but what role should populism play in modern democracy? Through ten trenchant essays, the writers of The New Criterionexamine the perils and promises of populism in Vox Populi, a new collection that marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of this critical journal.

Beginning with a reflection on the problems of populism for American conservatism (George H. Nash), the essays expound broadly and deeply on populist unrest―on the populist revolts of ancient Rome (Barry Strauss), the rise of popular referenda and the Brexit vote (Daniel Hannan), American populism and the legacy of H.L. Mencken (Fred Siegel), populism and the Founders’ generation (James Piereson), populism and identity (Roger Scruton), populism around the world (Andrew C. McCarthy), and concluding essays by Conrad Black and Roger Kimball.

Just what perils and promises are found in populist ferment may be the question of our age. Taken together, these ten essays consider “the voice of the people” in the light of history, in a collection that only The New Criterion could assemble.

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