Source: Zimmermann, Heiko, ed.  Aspects of E.M. Forster.  1 Mar. 2000 - 23 Jan. 2019. 23 Jan. 2019 <>.

Two Cheers for Democracy


Two Cheers for Democracy, first published by Edward Arnold 1951, contains essays, articles and broadcasts written by E. M. Forster between 1936 and 1951.

The opening section, "The Second Darkness," concentrates on the war which began for Great Britain in 1939, though earlier elsewhere, and which is still going on. Subjects such as Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Liberty, the Censorship are here discussed. The climate is political [...].

The second section, "What I Believe," covers the same period as the first and sometimes the same subjects, but its climate is ethical and aesthetic. It opens with an essay which may be regarded as a key to the book. [E. M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965) 11.]

Forster splits the second section into three parts: "Art in General," "The Arts in Action" and "Places." The first section is not only political but also, at times, philosophical--first questioning but then, most often, supporting the thoughts and believes of the great liberal individualist E. M. Forster. This seemed necessary in World War II. In 1951, Forster has gained hope again. He writes: "Human life is still active, still carrying about with it unexplored riches and unused methods of release. The darkness that troubles us and tried to degrade us may thin out" (TC 12).



[This is the printer-friendly version of a document at Aspects of E. M. Forster. Click here to return to the standard version at ?t=tc&pic=&thread=.]