The Retreat of Western Liberalism

  • by Edward Luce
  • Narrated by Julian Elfer
  • 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of American economic and geopolitical 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 democratic liberalism - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a 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 losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall, treated by the West as an absolute triumph over the East.
We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Luce contrasts Western democratic and economic ideals, which rest on an assumption of linear progress, with more cyclical views of economic strength - symbolized by the 19th-century fall and present-day rise of the Chinese and Indian economies - and with the dawn of a new multipolar age.
Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the vast literature already available, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration 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.

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What the Critics Say

"Read this book: in the three hours it takes you will get a new, bracing and brilliant understanding of the dangers we in the democratic West now face. Luce is one of the smartest journalists working today, and his perceptions are priceless." (Jane Mayer, staff writer on The New Yorker)
"His new book, Retreat of Western Liberalism, broadens that picture to cover the Western world. It is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the waves of populism and nationalism we face today." (Liaquat Ahamed)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well researched and incredibly thought-provoking.

This extremely sophisticated analysis answers a lot of questions although we don't yet know if Mr Luce is right. His theories are certainly plausible and he brilliantly puts today's trends and players in a coherent historical perspective.
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- MarkinIndia

Essential Reading For Understanding The Current State Of The West

Luce has painted a portrait of the political landscape facing the West which is neither hopeful nor comforting, but which nevertheless must be recognised. He outlines the underlying forces of a rising China, a European Union wracked by African and Middle Eastern immigration and backlash populism, and an America-under-Trump in which few thought leaders have learnt the lessons which produced the 2016 election result. Ultimately, it is a concise and compelling essay on the current shaky ground the West stands upon, which Julian Elfer narrates beautifully.
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- Conor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-11-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio