God Save The Queen: the strange persistence of monarchies (Paperback)Dennis Altman (author)
An avowed republican investigates the unexpected durability and potential benefits of constitutional monarchies.
When he was deposed in Egypt in 1952, King Farouk predicted that there would be five monarchs left at the end of the century: the kings of hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades, and England. To date, his prediction has proved wrong, and while the twentieth century saw the collapse of monarchies across Europe, many democratic societies have retained them.
God Save the Queen is the first book to look at constitutional monarchies globally, and is particularly relevant given the pro-democracy movement in Thailand and recent scandals around the British and Spanish royal families. Is monarchy merely a feudal relic that should be abolished, or does the division between ceremonial and actual power act as a brake on authoritarian politicians? And what is the role of monarchy in the independent countries of the Commonwealth that have retained the Queen as head of state?
This book suggests that monarchy deserves neither the adulation of the right nor the dismissal of the left. In an era of autocratic populism, does constitutional monarchy provide some safeguards against the megalomania of political leaders? Is a President Boris potentially more dangerous than a Prime Minister Boris?
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Number of pages: 160
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 13 mm
'At 153 pages God Save the Queen is a quick read, and Altman packs a lot into it, whizzing through the histories and current political climates of an array of countries to gain better understanding of the way monarchies have sustained themselves and evolved. ... It's the ability, in such a relatively brief space of words, to capture the breadth of diversity and nuances of modern monarchy, that makes Altman's exploration of the phenomenon truly fascinating.'-- Ben Pobjie * The Australian *
'This very readable little book encourages us to think more about the game of thrones and the different ways it might be played.'-- Jeff Sparrow * The Age *
'A useful reconnaissance across a very large field of study.'-- David McIntyre * New Internationalist *
'God Save the Queen is a book which deserves a wide readership.'-- Bernard Whimpress * The Newtown Review of Books *
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