Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World

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Beacon Press, 1993 - History - 559 pages
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy is a comparative survey of some of what Moore considers the major/most indicative world economies as they evolved out of pre-modern political systems into industrialism. As the title suggests, Moore is not ultimately concerned with explaining economic development so much as exploring why modes of development produced different political forms that managed the transition to industrialism and modernization. Why did one society modernize into a "relatively free," democratic society (by which Moore means England) while others metamorphosed into fascist or communist states? His core thesis is that in each country, the relationship between the landlord class and the peasants was a primary influence on the ultimate form of government the society arrived at upon arrival in its modern age.

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User Review  - wildbill - LibraryThing

When I read this in college it became my key to understanding political revolution. Only when it was pointed out to me that Moore was a doctrinaire Marxist did it lose its luster. The book still ... Read full review

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good leterature Read full review


England and the Contributions of Violence
Evolution and Revolution in France
The Last Capi

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About the author (1993)

BARRINGTON MOORE, JR is a Lecturer in Sociology at Harvard University and Senior Research Fellow for the University's Russian Centre. He was educated at Williams College, where he took a degree in Greek and Latin, and at Yale University where he gained a PhD in sociology. His book Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in political science and the MacIver Award in sociology. He is also the author of Soviet Politics: The Dilemma of Power, Terror and Progress: USSR, Political Power and Social Theory and, with Robert P. Wolff and Herbert Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance. His most recent book, Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery and upon Certain Proposals to Eliminate Them, was given the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award of Phi Beta Kappa.

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