Saturday, 11 February 2012

Eminent Victorians on American Democracy, The View From Albion, by Frank Prochaska

What, exactly, DID eminent Victorians think of the American democracy?

In this likely and thought provoking book, Frank Prochaska explores how things looked in this fledgling democracy. Or rather, how they looked to outsiders, many of whom had firm views of how government should work in the modern, Victorian era.

I had hoped that the book would be a collection of essays, perhaps with notes and an explanation of  each essay, how the author of the book understood the eminent Victorian to mean.

However, the book in question is not that book. The author of the book tells the reader what HE thinks -for example- Bagehot, Mill, Bryce, etc., meant, rather than letting the eminent Victorians actually say it in their own words and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. Guided with footnotes, etc.

It is a good book, but it could have been a great book. However, students of modern politics and of history of the Victorian era will find it eminently useful.

It is published by the Oxford University Press in hardback. 

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