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How did a radical new set of democratic ideals emerge from the ancient Athenians’ search for a durable political order? In a lively narrative history, Professor Mitchell traces the influence of early revolutionary movements and describes how democracy took hold for two centuries. He analyses both the system’s strengths and the weaknesses that hastened its demise in the face of Macedonian conquerors. The book ends with an assessment of Athens’ political legacy in the modern world.