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  • Little, Brown
  • Little, Brown
  • Little, Brown

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Edward Luce

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Prose: non-fiction, Economics

An insightful and brilliantly researched book about modern society, and a stirring analysis of how enlightened ideas can be defended from the issues we currently face.

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 COLLAPSE 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 nineteenth-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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Edward Luce

Edward Luce is a graduate from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He worked as a speech writer for the treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, worked as the South Asia bureau chief for the Financial Times and is based in Washington DC as the Financial Times Washington columnist and commentator.