The Retreat of Western Liberalism

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Edward Luce
Format: Hardcover
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  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (June 06, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0802127398
  • EAN: 9780802127396
  • Item Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


"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.

An Amazon Best Book of June 2017: Why does it feel like things are coming apart in the world? As the U.S. commentator for the Financial Times, Edward Luce is in a good position to observe global trends and answer this question. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, he points to the rise in populism across nations and the relative economic growth of a few developing countries like China and India as key contributing factors. Of course it’s much more complicated than that, and Luce’s taut and satisfying book goes a long way in helping us to wrap our heads around what’s happening. Think of this as a global Hillbilly Elegy. You may not find every answer you’re looking for, but you’ll make serious, welcome progress in understanding the questions. --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

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