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How to Fix Democracy with Kevin Baker




Democracy, History




Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress. Today, many question its resilience. The Bertelsmann Foundation, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and Humanity in Action have teamed up with Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future, for How to Fix Democracy: a video and podcast series exploring practical responses to the threats facing democracies around the world. Host Andrew Keen interviews prominent thinkers, writers, politicians, technologists, and business leaders who enlighten and challenge us as we seek the answers to How to Fix Democracy.

How to Fix Democracy Season 5 covers 100 years of American democracy between 1924 and 2024. The season uncovers the complexities of U.S. history and asks our distinguished guests why it remains the most iconic and yet misunderstood democratic system in the world. This season is brought to you by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action.

In episode 9, host Andrew Keen discusses with writer and editor, Kevin Baker, the multifaceted changes and growth of American democracy. Significant cultural innovations, technological advancements, and societal shifts occurred between the two World Wars. Baker emphasizes America’s transformation into a cultural and political powerhouse during this period, where its arts and politics gained global recognition and when American culture including literature, music, and cinema, played a pivotal role in shaping societal views and politics. (listen)

Kevin Baker, born in August 1958 in Englewood, New Jersey, grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Columbia University in 1980 and has since pursued a career as a writer and editor. His writing includes novels like “Sometimes You See It Coming” and “Dreamland,” forming part of his New York City of Fire trilogy. He also contributed to Harold Evans’ popular history book, “The American Century.” Additionally, Baker has written for numerous publications such as The New York Times, The New Republic,, and Harper’s Magazine. He was recognized as a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for non-fiction.

This series is made possible with the kind support of the William H. Donner Foundation. Find more episodes here.