The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce & The Fate of the West: by Bill Emmott

by
November 2017, no. 396
Mark Chou reviews 'The Retreat of Western Liberalism' by Edward Luce and 'The Fate of the West: The battle to save the world’s most successful political idea' by Bill Emmott

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

by Edward Luce

Little, Brown, $32.99 pb, 234 pp, 9781408710401

Book Cover 2 Small

The Fate of the West:: The battle to save the world’s most successful political idea

by Bill Emmott

The Economist Books (Profile Books), $32.99 pb, 267 pp, 9781781257791

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce & The Fate of the West: by Bill Emmott

by
November 2017, no. 396

Anyone who has paid any attention to the words coming out of the mouths of populist figureheads like Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, and Geert Wilders will know this: populists traffic in nostalgia. For them, the best days are always our yesterdays – before the West was corrupted by the onslaught of progressive values, unchecked self-expression, secularisation, multiculturalism, globalisation, and the rejection of tradition. That is why they are forever promising to ‘bring back’ what has been lost and to ‘restore’ the West to its former glory. Their recent successes come down to the fact that many in these societies, feeling left behind and betrayed by their own countries, long for simpler times. In the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election, for example, numerous polls showed that a majority of Americans felt that the country had ‘lost its identity’ (Quinnipiac University Poll) or that its ‘best days are in the past’ (American Values Survey). For political scientists Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris, this was the pervasive sense of cultural estrangement – felt most acutely by older generations, white men, the less educated, and those holding conservative political beliefs – that led to the populist cultural backlash of the past several years.

Mark Chou reviews 'The Retreat of Western Liberalism' by Edward Luce and 'The Fate of the West: The battle to save the world’s most successful political idea' by Bill Emmott

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

by Edward Luce

Little, Brown, $32.99 pb, 234 pp, 9781408710401

Book Cover 2 Small

The Fate of the West:: The battle to save the world’s most successful political idea

by Bill Emmott

The Economist Books (Profile Books), $32.99 pb, 267 pp, 9781781257791

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.