What We Are Reading Today: Breaking News by Alan Rusbridger

Updated 01 February 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Breaking News by Alan Rusbridger

Technology has radically altered the news landscape. In Breaking News, Alan Rusbridger demonstrates how these decisive shifts have occurred, and what they mean for the future of democracy. 

“Rusbridger’s 20 years as editor of The Guardian — 1995-2015 — parallel a period of dramatic transformation in the newspaper industry, arguably the most dramatic since the invention of the printing press,” said Ann Marie Lipinski in a review published in the New York Times.

“The staggering changes are illustrated by his efforts to explain the pre-digital publishing cycle to an Oxford class of phone-dependent 18-year-olds,” the review added.  

It said: “Rusbridger pushed to make The Guardian a global digital newspaper, courting English-speaking readers outside of Britain, notably with editions in the US and Australia, dramatically increasing online audience. 

“He did this while guiding the paper through several historic investigations, including outrageous revelations of phone hacking by British journalists and the disclosure of Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency files.”


What We Are Reading Today: Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe by Sheri Berman

Updated 21 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe by Sheri Berman

In Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe, Sheri Berman traces the long history of democracy in its cradle, Europe. 

In her study of European political development over more than 200 years, Berman, a professor of political science at Barnard, shows that the story of democracy in Europe is complicated. 

“The ultimate goal, she believes, is liberal democracy, with elections, respect for the rule of law, individual liberties and minority rights. But that is a rare, and hard-won, achievement. A step forward is often followed by a step back,”  said Max Strasser in a review published in The New York Times.

“This may seem a bit obvious to anyone familiar with the broad outlines of European history, but Berman makes the case clearly and convincingly. Moreover, at a moment when hyperventilating over the decline of democracy has grown into a veritable intellectual industry, her long-view approach comes across as appealingly sober,” Strasser added.