Overview

At the dawn of the twentieth century, observers heralded a new era of social progress, seemingly limitless technological advances, and world peace. But within only a few years, the world was perched on the brink of war, revolution, and human misery on an unprecedented scale. Is it possible that today, in the early twenty-first century, we are on the verge of similar, tumultuous times?

Blending a detailed knowledge of international security ...

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Savage Century: Back to Barbarism

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Overview

At the dawn of the twentieth century, observers heralded a new era of social progress, seemingly limitless technological advances, and world peace. But within only a few years, the world was perched on the brink of war, revolution, and human misery on an unprecedented scale. Is it possible that today, in the early twenty-first century, we are on the verge of similar, tumultuous times?

Blending a detailed knowledge of international security affairs with history, philosophy, psychology, and literature, Thérèse Delpech vividly reminds us of the signs and warnings that were missed as the "civilized" world failed to prevent both world wars, the Holocaust, Soviet death camps, and Cambodian killing fields that made the twentieth century so deadly. Drawing a parallel between 1905 and 2005, Delpech warns that it could happen again in this current era of increasing international violence and global lawlessness. She looks ahead to imagine various scenarios and regions that could become flashpoints in the future.

Winner of the 2005 Prix Femina de l'essai.

Praise for the original French edition, L'Ensauvagement

"One doesn't know what to admire most in this book: the precision of information, the scope of reference, the originality of the approach..." Le Nouvel Observateur

"From Iranian nuclear ambitions to the Taiwan question, Delpech reviews all the situations which might lead mankind to succumb to the perennial temptation of savagery a passionate and lucid book." L'argus de la presse

"L'ensauvagement transcends its surface content, articulating great hope that our reason and will might take hold and overcome unreason." Politique étrangère

"Combining introspection and prediction, geopolitics and philosophy, Thérèse Delpech has issued a warning cry." Politique Internationale

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Delpech is director for strategic studies at the Atomic Energy Commission of France and French Commissioner at the UN for the disarmament of Iraq. Much of her book, a translation of L'Ensauvagement, which was awarded the Prix Femina de L'essai in France, is an examination of the major wars of the 20th century. The prose is light and readable, making the book an excellent survey of the subject if you can get past the opinionated, sometimes even flippant, asides. Interested readers will be attracted by the European take on recent history. For the balance of the book, Delpech expounds her thesis that the 21st century is repeating the pattern established by the previous century and that therefore we are on the brink of world war. She argues that the United States is out of control and that if Europe was still the dominant power the world would be a safer place. Delpech doesn't break much new ground, but she makes the usual arguments in an entertaining way. This book is an accessible yet thought-provoking read for public libraries and undergraduate institutions.
—Robert Perret

From the Publisher

"Thérèse Delpech, one of France's foremost thinkers on international security, has dared what historians no longer attempt: a grand sweep through 20th century European history as prelude to an equally brilliant analysis of the grave, even existential challenges facing the West today." —Josef Joffe, Publisher-Editor, Die Zeit

" Savage Century is a book of passion and reason: a bold study of the sources of global political savagery, and a fierce argument against repeating the mistakes that have led to our dire straits." —Peter Brooks, Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870032769
  • Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 232
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Thérèse Delpech is director of strategic affairs at the French Atomic Energy Commission and senior research fellow at the Centre de Recherche sur les Relations Internationales (CERI). She teaches international relations at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris. George Holoch is a freelance translator and has translated nineteen books.

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