What is democracy? Is it the movement toward united self-governmentin which equality is our highest value? Or is it about preserving thefreedom of individuals? In Democracy: A History of Ideas,Boris DeWiel argues that neither of these popular definitions iscorrect. Inspired by Isaiah Berlin, he describes democracy as a contestof values. Equality and liberty, like justice and fairness, are amongour ultimate ideals, but no single value is supreme. Because theyconflict with each other, democracy is an endless battle of true yetcontrary ideals.The enduring structure of democratic conflict, the book argues, isrooted in the historical emergence of modern values. The approach isbased on the simple premise that every new idea begins from an old one.Therefore, our own political ideas may be traced in stages to earlierbeliefs about the good. By exploring the history of ideas, the bookuncovers the deeply embedded pattern of ideological conflicts inpolitics today.The book suggests that wherever democracy arises, a pattern ofconflict will emerge among socialist, liberal, and conservative ideas.Based on a sophisticated theory of politics, DeWiel's analysispromotes a better understanding of the major ideologies acrossdemocratic nations. By specifying the precise values embedded along theleft-right continuum, the book concludes with an improved model ofideological differences for use in empirical and theoreticalstudies.