By democracy we usually mean a government comprising popular rule, individual human rights and freedom, and a free-market economy. Yet the flaws in traditional Athenian democracy can instruct us on the weaknesses of that first element of modern democracies shared with Athens: rule by all citizens equally. In Democracy's Dangers & Discontents, Bruce Thornton discusses those criticisms first aired by ancient critics of Athenian democracy, then traces the historical process by which the Republic of the founders has evolved into something similar to ancient democracy, and finally argues for the relevance of those critiques to contemporary U.S. policy. He asserts that many of the problems we face today are the consequences of the increasing democratization of our government and that the flaws of democracy are unlikely to be corrected. He argues that these dangers and discontents do not have to end in soft despotism—that American democracy's aptitude and strength can be recovered by restoring the limited government of the founders.