On October 10th, I’m sharing a panel at the Cheltenham Literary Festival with John Keane, author of the massive 958-page The Life and Death of Democracy. It landed with a thud on my doorstep yesterday to read before the session. I love the twist in the introduction. The first lamp of assembly-based democracy was not in Greece, as we tend to think, but in what is now Syria, Iraq and Iran. Aren’t those exactly the places to which we are now trying to export democracy?