Revenge of History - Why the Past Endures, a Critique of Francis Fukuyama

Author: Luzkow, Jack Lawrence
Year:2004
Pages:288
ISBN:0-7734-6502-2
978-0-7734-6502-2
Price:199.95
This interpretive essay was originally born as a response to Francis Fukuyama’s essay, The End of History. It asserts that the major development of the 20th century was, and is, the World Revolution of Westernization. It asserts that many parts of the globe are successfully Westernizing (modernizing), but even more parts of the globe are saying ‘modernization wherever possible, yes, but according to non-Western values such as Islam.’ The study is divided into three sections: Europe, Russia, and much of the developing world outside the West.

Reviews

“It represents scholarship at its best, combining grace of style, astute analysis, and solid research in diverse sources with imaginative flair…highly readable, well-documented, incise and integrated - a welcome contribution to a debate both extremely topical and long overdue: namely, the West’s putative global domination by means of free market capitalism and technological revolutions resulting in an enduring new world order – and hence their supposed ‘end of history’ as commonly understood. This was the dubious thesis of Francis Fukuyama’s over-hyped journalistic flourish (disguised as serious history) and it is Dr. Luzkow’s achievement to have convincingly debunked this myth in an elegant series of essays which demonstrate the continuing vitality and relevance of historical introspection in Western European democracies as well as countries in the former Soviet bloc now that these geopolitical units have to redefine themselves amidst new challenges and conflict. Through the judicious use of illustrative case studies, the author, effectively blending narrative and analysis, expands our knowledge of the complex dynamics shaping the modern world response to Westernization; recognizing that this response is not one-dimensional or monolithic but reflective of the diverse cultures/civilizations involved. In all, this is an important work on an important topic.” – Karl W. Schweizer, PhD, New Jersey Institute of Technology

“Luzkow is a historian who knows the past. This work of his is a brilliant analysis of that past as it affects the present and the future. Unlike many modern observers and analysts, he has the training and insight to examine the world as it is and to give us a broad sweeping view of where we are, where we have been and where we might be going. He examines the pros and cons of Western Civilization and of components of the civilization and also of the impact of other civilizations upon it. His analysis of the history of Russia is particularly insightful; this alone makes his book worth reading.” – Jose Sanchez, Saint Louis University

“…a tour de force. One of the most comprehensive analyses of the big mess we are in right now, it challenges the orthodoxies of Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington and of a host of other historians who have looked at simple answers to complicated issues just to jump on the bandwagon. Luzkow peels away the coatings of history and picks out the forceful layers that have linked us to this big turmoil in our history. It is not just religions, but the political, economic and societal complexities that define these religions. It is not just ethnicities, but tribalism that distort the issues. It is not only the battle of ideas that are forcing the issues, but also petty ‘pragmatism’ of money, interest and powerful rent-seekers.” – Professor Ali Arshad, College of Santa Fe

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface by Sanford Gutman
Prologue
Part !: Europe – Return of the Past or Exit from History?
1. Europe: Past or Future?
2. Europe and the Revenge of History
3. Europe: After History?
Part II: The Edge of Europe – Russia and the Eternally Recurring Past
4. Russia’s Failed Revolt against the West and the Past: The Eternal Recurrence of History
5. Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin and Beyond: Exit from History or Return to the Past?
Part III: No Exit from the Past?
6. Ideology, Utopia, Nation, Nationalism, Faith, Civilization: From the End of History to the Revenge of the Past
7. After History? Progress, Science, Technology, Westernization, Globalization and Democracy
Epilogue
Bibliography; Index