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The Light That Failed

A Reckoning
Narrated by: John Sackville
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: History, 21st Century
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A landmark book that completely transforms our understanding of the crisis of liberalism, from two preeminent intellectuals. 

Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance? 

In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only there but also back in the heartland of the West. 

In this brilliant work of political psychology, Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes argue that the supposed end of history turned out to be only the beginning of an Age of Imitation. Reckoning with the history of the last 30 years, they show that the most powerful force behind the wave of populist xenophobia that began in Eastern Europe stems from resentment at the post-1989 imperative to become Westernised. 

Through this prism, the Trump revolution represents an ironic fulfilment of the promise that the nations exiting from communist rule would come to resemble the United States. In a strange twist, Trump has elevated Putin's Russia and Orbán's Hungary into models for the United States. 

Written by two preeminent intellectuals bridging the East/West divide, The Light That Failed is a landmark book that sheds light on the extraordinary history of our Age of Imitation. 

©2019 Ivan Krastev, Stephen Holmes (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Chapter 1 alone......

Chapter 1 alone of this book is a brilliant summary of how the political and social balance has changed in Europe between 1989 and 2019 and should be essential reading for any students of Politics and Sociology and anyone else with the faintest interest in how European history will be written over the next 20 years. Brilliant book.

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Original and Insightful

A must read for students of populism. Linking the rise of Orban, Trump and Putin it traces the rise of populism to the hubris engendered by the collapse of Soviet Communism. It provides invaluable insights into the utility of blatant lying, the them and us xenophobic world view, and inclusiveness and exclusion. An important contribution to the growing study of anti-liberal populism.