Western Civilization Was Great While It Lasted

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution


by Francis Fukuyama

Reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn

Francis Fukuyama, almost singlehandedly, belies the belief that the age of great books in the field of political science is a bygone one. He seeks not the flash of a shocking assertion, but the profundity of a genuine insight. His tone is lapidary and explanatory. Linking Fukuyama’s varied explorations of world politics are the fairness of his judgments, the lucidity of his prose, and above all his relentless questing for fresh insights. He exemplifies Max Weber’s belief in scholarship as a vocation.

The steady heightening …

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