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This is a newly published book (May 2014) about the WWI by Frank Furedi, a professor of Sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Furedi contest with unlimited pessimism and references to an army of intellectual social commentators, academics and sociologist, (not a single reference or diary by a common person) that spans the century is that the First World War has never ended. Furedi quoted Tony Judt (“Ill Fares the Land”),” the First World War was followed by epidemics, revolutions, the failure of States, currency collapse, unemployment, dictatorship and fascism. Democracy, however, has proved resilient, if battered”. Furedi is not the first to argue that the Great War brought about our decline of trust in our institutions, notions of authority and our lack of values. Furedi’s argument in this book hinges on three main concepts, usefully emboldened in the text.
1)“Existential insecurity”, which he sees as extending throughout western society
2)“Exhaustion” which is more than battle-weariness and closer to the “end of everything” that has fuelled cultural studies since the oil crisis in the 1970s.
3)The last is an “intellectual crisis experience by western capitalism-recast as the crisis of the intellectual”.
This is an interesting book about the sequence of political thinkers on liberalism, authority and power since 1914. I would have found this book’s arguments more convincing if it had been backed up with some hard detail of how people lived, and how their lives changed in the decades after 1918, in addition to how sociologist argued that their lives were changing. It is an interest exercise; though ultimately somewhat unconvincing in the way it follows a complex event through very different sequences of cultural and intellectual moods. The author framed the book by his own politics. He is self-described as a Libertarian with his roots in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). The book will stimulate your vocabulary, which makes the book ideal for an e-book as the dictionary is only a finger tap away. Jump the second chapter it is a sort of index go directly to chapter three. The narrator was Greg Wagland
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Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Its a good read if you are interested in the legacies of WW1 even into current times. If you are student of the war you will find it engaging. Its not so much for the casual War History buff.
Provides an illuminsting historical analysis of the origins of contemporary culture wars over life style and the crisis of democratic legitimacy concerning the political elite.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful