Democracy is Britain's gift to the world. Most of the ideas and ideals that have shaped the world's democracies can be traced back to arguments and reforms that first erupted here. Democracy tells the thousand-year story of the bitter battles over those arguments and reforms, in the words of those who shaped our democracy, fought for it and resisted it. It includes the major documents of the past millennium, such as the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, and the speeches of the big beasts of the democratic jungle, such as Thomas More, Cromwell, Wilberforce, Gladstone and Churchill, as well as the contributions made to the democracy struggle by rebels, poets, satirists and novelists, from Shakespeare and Burns to Dickens and Orwell. Also featured are many important documents that have been rescued from obscurity, such as a speech that a prominent twentieth century MP was barred from delivering: he wanted to argue why he should not be expelled from the House of Commons. Democracy covers not just the constitution and the law, but debates over free speech, slavery, empire, the death penalty and Europe, and includes key events in England's relations with Scotland, Wales and Ireland. This remarkable chronicle is guaranteed to inform, educate and inspire.

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