Rise of the West versus rise of the rest.

    The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West is one of those books I started, then set aside for several months before restarting it. Written by Lee Harris, a frequent Wall Street Journal contributor, this 2007 book is part philosophy of history and part
extended op-ed piece. Harris challenges the Western assumption that all
peoples around the world aspire for democracy and are slowly moving
towards it. If anything, Harris believes that democratic regimes are
relatively speaking rare in the world, and are mostly found in
Anglo-American nations or nations directly shaped by them.  While I'm
not sure I bought all of his arguments, this book did raise some
interesting points. And it did get me thinking, which is never a bad thing.

    Ever since I read The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria I've been wanting to read more by this talented editor of Newsweek. His latest book The Post-American World,
is quite good. Zakaria is a fine writer and thinker,(not long ago he was a guest speaker here in Portland and spoke for over an hour and a half without notes or a teleprompter) and does a superb
job looking at the "big picture" when it comes to the state of the
world. According to Zakaria, while some might say that America is in
decline, what we are really experiencing is a "rise of the rest". Other
nations, especially China and India are experiencing incredible
economic growth.  As these upstart nations of the world grow
economically, the US must respond to their newfound political clout and
respond appropriately. I highly recommend Zakaria's book.

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Filed under Area Studies/International Relations, History, Islam

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