• The Retreat of Western Liberalism

  • By: Edward Luce
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (268 ratings)

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The Retreat of Western Liberalism

By: Edward Luce
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
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Publisher's Summary

In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil.

In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong.

Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.

©2017 Edward Luce (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Edward Luce provides a terrifying view of the challenges facing the West. We have to hope that his prophecies are self denying - something that is more likely if his penetrating analysis gets the wide attention it richly deserves.” (Lawrence Summers)

What listeners say about The Retreat of Western Liberalism

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but biased.

An interesting look into some of the challenges that face the western world in the coming decades, but through the lens of someone deeply entrenched in the current progressive liberal order who has trouble seeing the rot in the current system which has led to the current crisis point.

17 people found this helpful

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Dour leftist hand-wringing for 5 hours

What's the purpose of this? After 5 hours I still do not know. A lefty's emotionally directed take on the world in which we live...with a heavy dose of Trump is bad, mmkay! Please, the world doesn't revolve around personalities or the kneejerk reflexivity of liberals everywhere.

Want to know why liberalism is in retreat? It's people like this and their doom and gloom self-loathing diatribes. For Christ's sake, get over yourselves.

9 people found this helpful

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Clear and Convincing

What made the experience of listening to The Retreat of Western Liberalism the most enjoyable?

OK, it is largely because he thinks about current events as I do,that I think he did a great job. But, he is a much clearer & deeper explainer of the reasons we are where we are in 2017, than I could ever hope to be.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A good but not pedantically deep history of Western Liberalism and the social & economic bases of modern society. His story, to this student but not expert of history (me), rings true and his vantage point appears valuable

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The important point is his contribution to the understanding of how the liberal establishment lost and is still losing the working middle class citizens of the US and of Europe. That loss has been too easily dismissed as racism, rather than delving into the larger, deeper engines of that segment's dissatisfaction and the possible remedies.

Any additional comments?

A couple hours well spent.

5 people found this helpful

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Indispensable read

What is really happening to America? Read this book to find out. This inveterate journalist quotes historical fact and current data to tell s critical story. Having read this book, I consider myself reawakened to modern reality, and realize I must help do something about it.

4 people found this helpful

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Relevant, topical to today’s political and social environment.

Appreciate the perspective offered of current and post Trump society, and the need to address the economic stagnation of 60 percent of our population.

To note I have continued faith in the genius of our democracy, without the apparent ‘yellow alert’ implied in the book. I do not think any one president can ruin us.

I do heed the need to read - thank you Mr. Luce for a lucid read and valuable perspective.

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Disappointment

the content as a whole were disappointing. As someone who hate Trump, I was looking for less about him and his voters and more about what can change in society to slow our slide.

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Fictional scenarios may confuse audio listener!

When I heard the author say that a Chinese torpedo had hit the USS McCain, I suddenly realized that he was reciting a fictional scenario, a possible future for the Trump administration, and was not reporting on history. 🙁

1 person found this helpful

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AMERICAN MALAISE

Edward Luce offers a troubling picture of 21s century America.    His argument depends on one’s definition of “…Western Liberalism”.  If the definition is belief in human individuality and a relaxation of public custom, law, and authority, there is evidence to support Luce’s argument. 

Western liberalism needs to be reinvented by investment in a technological revolution for all Americans, not just those who have benefited from the industrial revolution.  The question is whether private industry and the government are up to the task.  Will western liberalism be reinvented and promoted by ossified industrial leaders and elected representatives?  Most industry leaders and elected representatives are satisfied with the status quo while too many Americans struggle to make mortgage or rent payments.  Luce defines the problem but offers no solution.

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Regrettable purchase

I regretted making this purchase. The overall premise of the book was interesting but the author's blind hatred of Donald Trump severely tainted his historical objectivity to the point were portions became almost unlistenable, leaving the entire effort suspect.


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Clear thinking cogently presented.

If you have ever wished for a new Toqueville to make sense of the current American mindset and terroir, and who hasn't, then this fine book is for you.