"Insightful and harrowing . . . lucidly expounds on the erosion of the West's middle classes, the dysfunction among its political and economic elites and the consequences for America and the world."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability—attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West's faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different. Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
From the Financial Times, US commentator, The Retreat of Western Liberalism is an extraordinarily sharp and insightful look at why the values the West has long championed now face mortal danger
From the Financial Times' US commentator, The Retreat of Western Liberalism is an extraordinarily sharp and insightful look at why the values the West has long championed now face mortal danger
Time to Start Thinking
Author: Edward Luce
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
This look at the crisis facing the United States “explores the gaping disconnect between elite optimism and popular bewilderment, anger, and despair” (Foreign Affairs). “Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It is time to start thinking.” —Sir Ernest Rutherford In a book destined to spark debate among both liberals and conservatives, journalist Edward Luce advances a carefully constructed argument, backed up by interviews with key players in politics and business, that America is losing its pragmatism—and that the consequences of this may soon leave the country high and dry. Addressing the changing structure of the US economy; political polarization; the debilitating effect of the “permanent election campaign”; and problems in education and business innovation, Time to Start Thinking takes a hard look at America’s dwindling options in a world where the pace is increasingly being set elsewhere. “A brilliant reporter who has spoken to everyone: CEOs and members of the cabinet, lobbyists and small town mayors, recent MBAs and unemployed teachers. In his acutely observed, often witty, and very humane portraits, he succeeds in converting the abstractions of economics and bringing them to life.” —Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance “Americans need friends who will tell us what we need to hear and how to think about the troubles, many of our own making, that threaten our democracy, prosperity, and leadership in the world. We’ve got just such a friend in Ed Luce. He’s a foreign observer who has not just traveled widely in the United States but listened carefully to a wide array of our citizens.” —Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution “In a tradition stretching back to de Tocqueville, sympathetic foreigners are often the keenest observers of American life. Edward Luce is one such person. He paints a highly disturbing picture of the state of American society, and of the total failure of American elites to come to grips with the real problems facing the country. It rises far above the current political rhetoric by its measured reliance on facts.” —Francis Fukuyama, author of Identity
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book. Edward Luce's in-depth analysis of the decline of democracy, "The Retreat of Western Liberalism" explores the myriad factors affecting the shift away from a political system many readers will have taken for granted in their lifetimes. This SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis offers supplementary material to "The Retreat of Western Liberalism" to help you distill the key takeaways, review the book's content, and further understand the writing style and overall themes from an editorial perspective. Whether you'd like to deepen your understanding, refresh your memory, or simply decide whether or not this book is for you, SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is here to help. Absorb everything you need to know in under 20 minutes! What does this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis Include? An Executive Summary of the original book Editorial Review Key takeaways & analysis Key players from the book Brief chapter-by-chapter summaries A short bio of the the author Original Book Summary Overview Western hegemony has begun a decline in recent decades, while Russian and Chinese dominance has slowly, but steadily, grown. Are we wrong to put our faith in liberal democracy? Is there prosperity in Eastern-style autocracy? In "The Retreat of Western Liberalism," Edward Luce takes the reader through the events and people that propagated Western democracy to the height of its popularity in past decades, and explores the factors that are contributing to its decline today. This book looks into the possible trajectories of recent events, and what, if anything, can be done to save Western liberalism. BEFORE YOU BUY: The purpose of this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is to help you decide if it's worth the time, money and effort reading the original book (if you haven't already). SUMOREADS has pulled out the essence-but only to help you ascertain the value of the book for yourself. This analysis is meant as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, "The Retreat of Western Liberalism."
The Fate of the West
Author: Bill Emmott
Publisher: Profile Books
When faced with global instability and economic uncertainty, it is tempting for states to react by closing borders, hoarding wealth and solidifying power. We have seen it at various times in Japan, France and Italy and now it is infecting much of Europe and America, as the vote for Brexit in the UK has vividly shown. This insularity, together with increased inequality of income and wealth, threatens the future role of the West as a font of stability, prosperity and security. Part of the problem is that the principles of liberal democracy upon which the success of the West has been built have been suborned, with special interest groups such as bankers accruing too much power and too great a share of the economic cake. So how is this threat to be countered? States such as Sweden in the 1990s, California at different times or Britain under Thatcher all halted stagnation by clearing away the powers of interest groups and restoring their societies' ability to evolve. To survive, the West needs to be porous, open and flexible. From reinventing welfare systems to redefining the working age, from reimagining education to embracing automation, Emmott lays out the changes the West must make to revive itself in the moment and avoid a deathly rigid future.
On its present course, the US faces a world of rising new countries that will compete with it ever more fiecely as its own power is declining. In order to slow and improve this steady leakage of power, the US must change course internationally, economically and domestically. It must also restructure to remain the world's most competitive economy. And it must address quality of life issues and fairness at home. But American politics is broken - competing forces and interests have led to stasis. With change so tough, where now for a country where the middle classes are suffering as they have never suffered before, the pensions crisis is growing, the deficit out of sight, and radicalism waiting in the wings?
For nearly 40 years, Ronald Reagan's vision--small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism--has remained America's dominant political ideology. The Democratic Party has offered no truly convincing competing vision. Instead, American liberalism has fallen under the spell of identity politics.Mark Lilla argues with acerbic wit that liberals, originally driven by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, have now unwittingly invested their energies in social movements rather than winning elections. This abandonment of political priorities has had dire consequences. But, with the Republican Party led by an unpredictable demagogue and in ideological disarray, Lilla believes liberals now have an opportunity to turn from the divisive politics of identity, and offer positive ideas for a shared future. A fiercely-argued, no-nonsense book, The Once and Future Liberal is essential reading for our momentous times.
Grave New World
Author: Stephen D. King
Publisher: Yale University Press
A controversial look at the end of globalization and what it means for prosperity, peace, and the global economic order Globalization, long considered the best route to economic prosperity, is not inevitable. An approach built on the principles of free trade and, since the 1980s, open capital markets, is beginning to fracture. With disappointing growth rates across the Western world, nations are no longer willing to sacrifice national interests for global growth; nor are their leaders able—or willing—to sell the idea of pursuing a global agenda of prosperity to their citizens. Combining historical analysis with current affairs, economist Stephen D. King provides a provocative and engaging account of why globalization is being rejected, what a world ruled by rival states with conflicting aims might look like, and how the pursuit of nationalist agendas could result in a race to the bottom. King argues that a rejection of globalization and a return to “autarky” will risk economic and political conflict, and he uses lessons from history to gauge how best to avoid the worst possible outcomes.
"Alan Ryan's magisterial standing in political theory is already well known, but this book--a wonderful array of learned, insightful, historical discussions--puts his mastery beyond doubt. And it is massively more than the sum of its parts. It is just what the title promises: an authoritative, comprehensive, multifaceted, and strikingly intelligent account of the rise of the liberal tradition."--Jeremy Waldron, University of Oxford "These essays are at once a history, a tapestry, and a trenchant defense of liberalism at its best. They have been crafted by one of our generation's most fertile political minds. Alan Ryan's intellectual odyssey is both captivating and compelling."--Ian Shapiro, author of "The Real World of Democratic Theory" "Alan Ryan in this impressive work lights up the vast field of liberalism. He presents an accumulation of beautifully formulated ideas and leaves us with an enhanced knowledge of the depths, complexities, and richness of liberalism. His style is both vigorous and elegant, and his prowess as an interpreter is formidable. This is an invaluable book."--George Kateb, author of "Patriotism and Other Mistakes" "In "The Making of Modern Liberalism," Alan Ryan sheds new light on key thinkers in the Western political tradition and presents his own liberal perspective on political affairs. Ryan's work shines with insight and intelligence. No one can read this book without being provoked to self-reflection, disagreement, and counterargument--precisely what's needed in a great work of political theory."--Glyn Morgan, Syracuse University
The Road to Somewhere
Author: David Goodhart
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The political era one is living through always feels messy and fragmented from the inside. But looking back from the future, the first two decades of the 21st century will come to be seen as the moment when the politics of culture and identity rose to challenge the previous politics of leftand right. David Goodhart's searing analysis considers this shift through his novel paradigm of the "nowhere" class and the "somewhere" class.Members of the "Nowhere" class dominate our culture and society. They tend to do well at school, then usually move from home to a boarding university in their late teens and on to a career in the professions that might take them to a capital city or even abroad for a year or two. Such people haveportable "achieved' identities, based on educational and career success, which makes them generally comfortable with new places and people. The"Somewhere" people are by definition more rooted and have ascribed identities based on group belonging and particular places, which is why they often find rapid change disturbing. One core group of Somewheres are often "left behind" - mainly older white working class men with little education.They have lost economically with the decline of well paid jobs for people with little education and culturally, too, with the disappearance of a distinctive working-class culture and the marginalization of their social conservatism in the public conversation. However Somewhere ambivalence aboutrecent social trends spreads far beyond this core group and is shared by many in all social classes.The broad ideology of Nowhere people can be characterized as "progressive individualism." By contrast, the Somewheres are more socially conservative by instinct. This book will contend that the Nowhere people have counted for too much in the past generation and populist parties, such as the TeaParty, have emerged in part as a democratic counter-balance to that dominance. In a democracy the Somewheres cannot, however, be ignored.
Author: Jan Zielonka
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Can open society survive? Is Europe disintegrating? How to overcome the economic crisis? Will Europeans feel secure again? Counter Revolution is a bold attempt to make sense of the extraordinary events taking place in Europe today. It examines the counter-revolution developing in Europe, exploring its roots and implications. The book takes the form of a series of heartfelt letters to the late European guru Ralf Dahrendorf. Several months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dahrendorf wrote a book fashioned on Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Like Burke, he chose to put his analysis in the form of a letter, reflecting on the implications of the turbulent period around 1989. Thirty years' later, and faced with an equally turbulent period, Jan Zielonka asks: what next? This is not a book on populism, however: it is a book about liberalism. Populism has become a favourite topic within liberal circles and few have exposed populist deceptions and dangers better than liberal writers. Yet, liberals have shown themselves better at finger-pointing than at self-reflection. This book addresses the imbalance; it is a self-critical book by a life-time liberal. Counter-Revolution suggests that Europe and its liberal project need to be reinvented and recreated. There is no simple way back. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will not produce wonders. Europe failed to adjust to enormous geopolitical, economic, and technological changes that swept the continent over the past three decades. European models of democracy, capitalism, and integration are not in sync with new complex networks of cities, bankers, terrorists, or migrants. Liberal values that made Europe thrive for many decades have been betrayed. The escalation of emotions, myths, and ordinary lies left little space for reason, deliberation, and conciliation. This book examines these different aspects, proposing a way out of the labyrinth.
Suicide of the West
Author: James Burnham
Publisher: Encounter Books
James Burnham’s 1964 classic, Suicide of the West, remains a startling account on the nature of the modern era. It offers a profound, in depth analysis of what is happening in the world today by putting into focus the intangible, often vague doctrine of American liberalism. It parallels the loosely defined liberal ideology rampant in American government and institutions, with the flow, ebb, growth, climax and the eventual decline and death of both ancient and modern civilizations. Its author maintains that western suicidal tendencies lie not so much in the lack of resources or military power, but through an erosion of intellectual, moral, and spiritual factors abundant in modern western society and the mainstay of liberal psychology. Devastating in its relentless dissection of the liberal syndrome, this book will lead many liberals to painful self-examination, buttress the thinking conservative’s viewpoint, and incite others, no doubt, to infuriation. None can ignore it.
Inventing the Individual
Author: Larry Siedentop
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Here, in a grand narrative spanning 1,800 years of European history, a distinguished political philosopher firmly rejects Western liberalism’s usual account of itself: its emergence in opposition to religion in the early modern era. Larry Siedentop argues instead that liberal thought is, in its underlying assumptions, the offspring of the Church.