Sir Henry Sumner Maine was one of the great intellects of the Victorian era. In Popular Government he examines the political institutions of men. He saw that popular governments, unless they are founded upon and consonant with the evolutionary development of a people, will crumble from their own excesses.George W. Carey is Professor of Government at Georgetown UniversitySir Henry Sumner Maine was one of the great intellects of the Victorian era. In Popular Government he examines the political institutions of men. He saw that popular governments, unless they are founded upon and consonant with the evolutionary development of a people, will crumble from their own excesses.George W. Carey is Professor of Government at Georgetown University and editor of the Political Science Reviewer....
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Popular Government Reviews
To join the Froude Society - actually, to become a deacon of the Froude Society - all you need to do is read three works of High Victorian political and historical criticism. I recommend this order: The Bow of Ulysses, by James Anthony Froude; Popular Government, by Henry Sumner Maine; and Latter-Day Pamphlets, by Thomas Carlyle. These books will change your life, or at least your mind.There are more books, more authors, where these came from. Without blinking we could add Lecky, Stephen and Austin to this pantheon, for instance; nor are Ruskin, Arnold, and Kingsley to be sneered at. And the remaining oeuvre of Froude, Maine and Carlyle is no less vast. And this is not a random sample of Victorian thought, but the cream of a coherent tradition. And anyone can read it. It's free - thanks to Google. Now and for the foreseeable future, Froude is more accessible than Stephen King.The task of the Froude Society is to restore High Victorian thought in the 21st century. And when I say restore, I mean restore to life - not study. The Society traffics not in critical formaldehyde.
A sober look at the problems and difficulties of democracies with a lot of food for thought about where our own government is heading. A littile dry at times, but worth the effort. Also, I don't think the summary here on good reads is very accurate, or at least that's not the message I got out of it.
A masculine mind no doubt (that's Maine's preferred compliment), but the language is dated and cumbersome. Even translated, Jouvenel who continued Maine's work of critiquing popular forms of government, was the more enjoyable to read. Partly the problem is my own; a more familiar relation with comparative governance would draw out more value from this work."A candidate for Presidency, nominated for election by the whole people, will, as a rule, be a man selected because he is not open to obvious criticism, and will therefore in all probability be a mediocrity." Trump's election has more often resulted in fears of how much further we can collectively travel down the road to Idiocracy, however, one unexpected gift may be the ability for the capable and prestige-worthy person, who would otherwise have been written off for some minor indiscretion, to now be more acceptable to a public who has seen much worse.
Good grounding in the French, British and American political institutions of the Victorian era. A bit hard to read because of the very long and complex sentence structures favored by authors of old.