Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West Since the Cold War, 1971-2017

Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West Since the Cold War, 1971-2017

by Simon Reid-Henry

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The first panoramic history of the Western world from the 1970s to the present day, Empire of Democracy is the story for those asking how we got to where we are.

Half a century ago, at the height of the Cold War and amidst a world economic crisis, the Western democracies were forced to undergo a profound transformation. Against what some saw as a full-scale “crisis of democracy”— with race riots, anti-Vietnam marches and a wave of worker discontent sowing crisis from one nation to the next— a new political-economic order was devised and the postwar social contract was torn up and written anew.

In this epic narrative of the events that have shaped our own times, Simon Reid-Henry shows how liberal democracy, and western history with it, was profoundly reimagined when the postwar Golden Age ended. As the institutions of liberal rule were reinvented, a new generation of politicians emerged: Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, Kohl. The late twentieth century heyday they oversaw carried the Western democracies triumphantly to victory in the Cold War and into the economic boom of the 1990s. But equally it led them into the fiasco of Iraq, to the high drama of the financial crisis in 2007/8, and ultimately to the anti-liberal surge of our own times.

The present crisis of liberalism enjoins us to revisit these as yet unscripted decades. The era we have all been living through is closing out, democracy is turning on its axis once again. As this panoramic history poignantly reminds us, the choices we make going forward require us first to come to terms with where we have been.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451684988
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 880
Sales rank: 336,809
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Simon Reid-Henry is a writer and prize-winning scholar. He is Associate Professor at Queen Mary, University of London and a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Prologue: Two Helicopters 13

Part I Democracy Unbound (1971-)

1 The Unraveling 27

2 The Crisis of Capitalism 58

3 The Reckoning 108

4 A Split in the World 160

5 "Let Fury Have the Hour" 191

6 The Victory: Remaking Europe 237

Part II Novus Ordo Seclorum? (1989-)

7 America and "A World Transformed" 273

8 The Great Convergence 312

9 A Democratic Peace? 355

10 The New Prosperity 381

11 Farewell to All That 419

12 Blueprints for the New Millennium 466

Part III Victory without Peace (2001-)

13 The Assault on Freedom 503

14 In the Shadow of War 553

15 The Great Recession 591

16 Back to the Streets 643

17 Crisis upon Crisis 693

18 Epilogue: The End of an Era? 736

Acknowledgments 755

Notes 759

Index 833

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