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 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.

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What the Critics Say

“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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard to swallow book with a digestible narration

A bit bleak, but a very insightful take on this topic. Of this genre of post-Trump think pieces, the author goes ahead and assumes a loss of American foreign dominance and political normalcy and focuses more on global trends.

Not for people who can't get on with the idea of "The West", but I'm not sure if the author really believes in that term either.
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- Chase

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.

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- Trebla

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-25-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio