The Free Society in Crisis: A History of Our Times by David Selbourne
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Overview: Critiquing assumptions on both the left and the right, noted historian of ideas and political theorist David Selbourne stresses the importance of shared community and civic duty.
How stable are free societies today? This book argues that they are under threat from "market free-choice" and "moral free-choice," two sides of the same coin that between them, the author warns, threaten to tear civil society apart. Market free-choice is the prevailing economic ideology that gives free reign to market forces, even when they ride roughshod over communities and whole nations. Moral free-choice, the other side of the coin, is the notion of individual rights without any sense of civic responsibility. The result of such ultra-individualism in economic and moral practice is the malaise we find ourselves in today: a lost sense of place, community, and belonging, as well as dismissiveness and unawareness of the lessons of the past.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History
Legitimation Crisis by Jürgen Habermas
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Overview: In this enormously influential book, Jurgen Habermas examines the deep tensions and crisis tendencies which underlie the development of contemporary Western societies and develops a powerful analysis of the legitimation problems faced by modern states.
Habermas argues that Western societies have succeeded to some extent in stabilizing the economic fluctuations associated with capitalism, but this has created a new range of crisis tendencies which are expressed in other spheres. States intervene in economic life and attempt to regulate markets, but they find themselves confronted by increasing and often conflicting demands. As individuals become increasingly disillusioned, the state is faced with the possibility of a mass withdrawal of loyalty or support – a ‘legitimation crisis’.
Widely recognized as a classic of contemporary social and political analysis, Legitimation Crisis sheds light on a range of issues which are central to current debates, from the decline of class conflict and the disillusionment with established political institutions to the crisis of the welfare state. It remains essential reading for students of sociology, politics and the social sciences generally.
Genre: Non-Fiction > General
Dien Bien Phu and the Crisis of Franco-American Relations, 1954-1955 by Lawrence S. Kaplan, Denise Artaud, Mark R. Rubin
Requirements: .ePUB, .MOBI/.AZW reader, 1.3 Mb
Overview: The most important foreign policy commitment in the history of the United States has been the creation of the Atlantic Alliance and the emergence of an Atlantic community and organization. The relations between the United States and France have been a vital component of this alliance since its inception. It has been a fractious relationship, frequently threatening the existence of the alliance itself. Yet it also has been an enduring relationship that is as important to NATO’s future today as it was forty years ago.
A major source of conflict between the two nations derived from the French experience in Indochina after World War II. In their attempt to maintain their prewar empire, under the name of the French Union, leaders in Paris sought military assistance from Washington. Much of it was granted reluctantly, partly because of the American historical tradition of anticolonialism and partly because of the administration’s fear that Indochina diverted France from its European role in NATO. The Korean War, however, refocused America’s attention on East
Genre: Non-Fiction > History