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IYO what are the most influential nonfiction books of the post-Cold War era?

Jonas.diniJonas.dini Posts: 2,507 ✭✭
edited August 2011 in The Social Lounge
I submit the following nominees:

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, by Samuel Huntington
- Huntington's famous and controversial classic, basically argues that international politics will trend toward regional cultural blocs: the West, the Muslim bloc, the Oriental bloc, Latin America, etc. Whether or not you agree that this is an accurate depiction, there is no question that it shaped the way Westerners and especially Americans understand the world, and it is the go-to paradigm for Western policy makers. Just as one example, the notion of a neo-panIslamic bloc that has become dominant in Western conceptions of global affairs, was reenforced and really established anew for this era by Huntington's book.

The End of History and the Last Man, by Francis Fukuyama
- With the end of the Cold War, Fukuyama pontificated that Western liberal (as in capitalism) democracy had not only won the day, but that in fact humankind had reached the highest possible plateau of sociocultural development. This advanced the notion that Western democracy is the end all be all form of government and that countries in mass not only should but will adopt it, and not unlike marxism in its infancy, Fukuyama's argument was given heft because it presented itself as predictive science. And it isn't hard to see the influence this has had in global politics and especially in discourse.

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, Thomas Friedman
- Would have been more accurately titled "Globalization is Great for Everyone," this book more than any since (imo) framed the general discourse and understanding for globalization as a net-positive process. I definitely remember when this dropped, it held down the best seller list for a long time, and I think it is the first book on international politics of my generation that literally everyone has read: policymakers, researchers, and laypeople alike.

So what do y'all think?
Have you read these books? Do you agree with me that these are three of the most influential books of our lifetimes? And what books would you add to the list?


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