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Publisher's Summary

William F. Buckley, Jr., perhaps best described the importance of this seminal work when he said, "James Burnham has written a book about Liberalism for which the world has been aching. It is worth more to the West than the year’s gross national product, more than all the planes and bombs…."

Through studious research into past civilizations, Burnham diagnoses the 20th century and finds it afflicted with destructive, even "suicidal" tendencies - all of which arise from the “Liberal syndrome” and its inherent applications.

The book explores several important questions, including why Liberalism clashes with Christianity and how Liberalism is a root cause of race riots and the rapid growth in crime. For James Burnham, who died in 1986, this book is certainly one of his greatest legacies.

©1985 1986 by James Burnham (P)1988 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This somber, brilliantly written book attempts to fix the blame for the suicidal ‘contraction of the West’ over the last fifty years upon Liberalism, chiefly in the United States…It is at the same time a venture into the philosophy of history and an indictment of those responsible for the present disastrous plight of once triumphant Western civilization." ( National Review)

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  • John
  • Griffith, IN, United States
  • 11-12-12

The Future is Now!

What made the experience of listening to Suicide of the West the most enjoyable?

Suicide of the west should be looked at by Western Free market Libertarians as Nostradamus's quatrains. Look at the world events we see now, the collapse of European parliamentary democracy’s crumble under the weight of debt created by the liberal policies of social idealism.

What did you like best about this story?

The book was written in 1964 a year before I was born and this great book has been out there all this time. I glad I found it and thanks to Audible for having it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan Greene
  • CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States
  • 01-23-18

A message from the past explaining why we are here

A must read if you want to understand why and how the US (and the West) is being destroyed by a demented ideology called Liberalism. Get it!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

A little dated, still very good ref. point

As the title mentions this is a very good reference point. However is a bit dated and needs to be updated with current examples. On the other side, this is one of the few factual documents about the left vs right discussions going on in the world.

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amazing

spot on critique of the liberal ideology from a dispassionate observational perspective. uses a lot of illustrative examples to back up the patterns he notices. frightening conclusion that will change how you see liberalism forever.

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Surprisingly Timeless Lesson

What made the experience of listening to Suicide of the West the most enjoyable?

Hearing Burnham's worldview which I knew much less about than his influence.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, this book is better digested in 30 minute chunks which was perfect with my commute. It gives you more time to consider the ideas Burnham puts forward.

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Intelligent Nonsense

Any additional comments?

This book in entirely incorrect. The author claims that liberalism serves the function of providing solace in a society which is declining, that the decline is not inevitable even though liberals hold all the levers of power and military might, that liberals are not saboteurs and collaborators but rather ideologues, that liberals prefer not to use force and when they do they use it incorrectly. All of these statements and therefore the entire thesis of the book is incorrect. Liberals are in fact saboteurs and paid soviet agents. This has been proven and documented time and again showing that liberal politicians and media receive money from groups that are communist fronts for the service of undermining national defense and Christian culture. Their rhetoric is not to offer solace, but rather political cover as a tactic for a imperialistic expansion and infiltration into Western governments by Russia. The liberal ideological juxtapositions are always in favor of communism to Russian advantage. History proves that decadence and decay is the natural state of any society which has abandoned God and the principles of the Bible. Without full scale national repentance the pattern is unfailing. The historical record shows that liberals do resort to violence using the levers of power to enforce their edicts and suppress groups that disagree with them and do so effectively. The cases he cites where insufficient force was used were only cases where the insufficient use force benefited the Soviet Union proving the book is well written nonsense. The narration was very good.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 05-10-18

I cannot listen to anymore

The author's argument is one-sided and dubious. He creates a syndrome called the liberal syndrome, which has both left and right leaning tendencies. He blames the syndrome for giving all without calculation while at the same time restricting liberty and destroying foundations of value. He gives statements of fact which are either disputed, inaccurate or untrue. He did use examples which explained clearly how he saw ideology. This was terrible book