The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective

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From the vantage point of the United States or Western Europe, the 1970s was a time of troubles: economic "stagflation," political scandal, and global turmoil. Yet from an international perspective it was a seminal decade, one that brought the reintegration of the world after the great divisions of the mid-twentieth century. It was the 1970s that introduced the world to the phenomenon of "globalization," as networks of interdependence bound peoples and societies in new and original ways.

The 1970s saw the breakdown of the postwar economic order and the advent of floating currencies and free capital movements. Non-state actors rose to prominence while the authority of the superpowers diminished. Transnational issues such as environmental protection, population control, and human rights attracted unprecedented attention. The decade transformed international politics, ending the era of bipolarity and launching two great revolutions that would have repercussions in the twenty-first century: the Iranian theocratic revolution and the Chinese market revolution.

The Shock of the Global examines the large-scale structural upheaval of the 1970s by transcending the standard frameworks of national borders and superpower relations. It reveals for the first time an international system in the throes of enduring transformations.

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Editorial Reviews

Irish Times

[A] masterful book.
— Michael Case

The Age

A serious and impressive in-depth study of an unjustly neglected decade.
— Bill Perrett

Foreign Policy

A grab-bag of lively academic essays that covers everything from the proliferation of global non-government organizations to the worldwide women's rights movement to smallpox eradication.
— Christian Caryl

Melvyn P. Leffler
An illuminating book that provides a new way to look at the international history of the 1970s. It redirects our attention away from the familiar narrative and instead places the decade in a new perspective that allows us to evaluate longer-term trends, including the evolution of global society, the dynamics of the international economy, the breakup of colonial empires, the impact of popular culture, and the declining realm for autonomous national choices. This superb work will be greeted with enthusiasm.
Thomas Alan Schwartz
This volume is remarkable for uniformly strong essays and the cohesiveness of its argument that the 1970s were a distinctive era, and that the key to understanding the decade is the concept of globalization. Thought-provoking and consistently interesting, this book should have a very broad audience among both scholars and general readers alike.
Akira Iriye
A stellar group of authors tackles the transformation of the world in the 1970s, showing how the decade should be seen as ushering in the contemporary global age. Ranging from the end of U.S. economic hegemony to the rise of environmentalism, from the rise of China to the growing influence of Islam, from transnational business transactions to human rights, this book carefully examines the 'shock' of globalization and makes a major contribution to international history.
Irish Times - Michael Case
[A] masterful book.
The Age - Bill Perrett
A serious and impressive in-depth study of an unjustly neglected decade.
Foreign Policy - Christian Caryl
A grab-bag of lively academic essays that covers everything from the proliferation of global non-government organizations to the worldwide women's rights movement to smallpox eradication.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674061866
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 763,631
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School.

Charles S. Maier is the Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University, and the author of Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany.

Erez Manela is Professor of History, Harvard University.

Daniel Sargent is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeremy Adelman is Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor of Spanish Civilization and Culture, Princeton University.

Thomas Borstelmann is Elwood N. and Katherine Thompson Distinguished Professor of Modern World History, University of Nebraska.

Matthew Connelly is Professor of History, Columbia University.

Francis J. Gavin is Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

Louis Hyman is Associate at McKinsey & Company.

Ayesha Jalal is Mary Richardson Professor of History, Tufts University.

Stephen Kotkin is Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Princeton University.

Mark Atwood Lawrence is Associate Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin.

J. R. McNeill is University Professor, Department of History and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Michael Cotey Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, Yale University.

Lien-Hang T. Nguyen is Assistant Professor of History, University of Kentucky.

author Jocelyn Olcott is Associate Professor of History, Duke University.

Vernie Oliveiro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, Harvard University.

Andrew Preston is University Lecturer in History and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University.

Alan M. Taylor is Professor of Economics, University of California, Davis.

Rebecca J. Sheehan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Southern California.

Glenda Sluga is Professor of International History, University of Sydney.

Jeremi Suri is E. Gordon Fox Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Odd Arne Westad is Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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