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Publisher's Summary

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.

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.

©2017 Edward Luce (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Edward Luce provides a terrifying view of the challenges facing the West. We have to hope that his prophecies are self denying - something that is more likely if his penetrating analysis gets the wide attention it richly deserves.” (Lawrence Summers)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but biased.

An interesting look into some of the challenges that face the western world in the coming decades, but through the lens of someone deeply entrenched in the current progressive liberal order who has trouble seeing the rot in the current system which has led to the current crisis point.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Indispensable read

What is really happening to America? Read this book to find out. This inveterate journalist quotes historical fact and current data to tell s critical story. Having read this book, I consider myself reawakened to modern reality, and realize I must help do something about it.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Clear and Convincing

What made the experience of listening to The Retreat of Western Liberalism the most enjoyable?

OK, it is largely because he thinks about current events as I do,that I think he did a great job. But, he is a much clearer & deeper explainer of the reasons we are where we are in 2017, than I could ever hope to be.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A good but not pedantically deep history of Western Liberalism and the social & economic bases of modern society. His story, to this student but not expert of history (me), rings true and his vantage point appears valuable

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The important point is his contribution to the understanding of how the liberal establishment lost and is still losing the working middle class citizens of the US and of Europe. That loss has been too easily dismissed as racism, rather than delving into the larger, deeper engines of that segment's dissatisfaction and the possible remedies.

Any additional comments?

A couple hours well spent.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Relevant, topical to today’s political and social environment.

Appreciate the perspective offered of current and post Trump society, and the need to address the economic stagnation of 60 percent of our population.

To note I have continued faith in the genius of our democracy, without the apparent ‘yellow alert’ implied in the book. I do not think any one president can ruin us.

I do heed the need to read - thank you Mr. Luce for a lucid read and valuable perspective.

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Good and broad political analysis

this Obama fan does a good job stepping back from the 2016 election and looking at the broader trends contributing to the rise of populism in the West.

while the tone is very bleak, the question he raised are important. in my view this is a good read regardless of where you stand politically.

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Insightful and Succinct

This was a a logical, thoughtful and convincing analysis of the current state of the world; unsettling as it may be.

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Urgently needed

We urgently need to heed analyses like this if we are to have the serious conversations needed to turn back from the abyss.

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must read! <br />

if you want a glimpse at where the world is heading, you must read this book

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Great Analysis

To the point break down about the rise of global populism and threats to modern liberal democracy. One of the best books I've listened to in the topic. He brings several theories together and clearly explains thier implications.

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Fictional scenarios may confuse audio listener!

When I heard the author say that a Chinese torpedo had hit the USS McCain, I suddenly realized that he was reciting a fictional scenario, a possible future for the Trumpet administration, and was not reporting on history. 🙁

1 of 2 people found this review helpful