In This Review

The Twilight of Democracy
The Twilight of Democracy
By Patrick Kenon
Doubleday, 1995, 320 pp

This book, written by a retired CIA analyst, argues that despite its apparent victory, democracy is doomed as a form of government and will be replaced by a competent, faceless technocracy. The author makes a large number of sweeping generalizations and expresses any number of often irascible opinions -- for example, that America is in economic decline, or that political leaders play important roles only in tribal societies but are a major liability in modern ones. These views are seldom supported by anything other than anecdotal evidence and on occasion are wrong. For example, the author asserts that the American primary election process is undemocratic because candidates are picked by party machines. Surprisingly, the author is not troubled by the anticipated takeover of power by technocrats because he has a bizarrely benign view of both their expertise and judgment.