Books That Inspire 2003

Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule
Reinhard Bendix

Good ideas lead to positive social change, and learning about other societies introduces you to more good ideas than you can think up on your own. This is the argument Reinhard Bendix explored in each of his many books. Kings or People stands out in my mind as an elegant account of how continental Europeans learned about liberty and limited government from the English, and how these ideas inspired them to transform their own monarchies into democracies. As I tell students to be open to new ideas and become globally aware, I still refer them to the book that taught that lesson to me.
Robert Henry Cox
Associate Professor
School of International and Area Studies