Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present (Hardcover)

Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present By Fareed Zakaria Cover Image
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A New York Times Bestseller

The CNN host and best-selling author explores the revolutions—past and present—that define the polarized and unstable age in which we live.

Populist rage, ideological fracture, economic and technological shocks, war, and an international system studded with catastrophic risk—the early decades of the twenty-first century may be the most revolutionary period in modern history. But it is not the first. Humans have lived, and thrived, through more than one great realignment. What are these revolutions, and how can they help us to understand our fraught world?

In this major work, Fareed Zakaria masterfully investigates the eras and movements that have shaken norms while shaping the modern world. Three such periods hold profound lessons for today. First, in the seventeenth-century Netherlands, a fascinating series of transformations made that tiny land the richest in the world—and created politics as we know it today. Next, the French Revolution, an explosive era that devoured its ideological children and left a bloody legacy that haunts us today. Finally, the mother of all revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, which catapulted Great Britain and the US to global dominance and created the modern world.

Alongside these paradigm-shifting historical events, Zakaria probes four present-day revolutions: globalization, technology, identity, and geopolitics. For all their benefits, the globalization and technology revolutions have produced profound disruptions and pervasive anxiety and our identity. And increasingly, identity is the battlefield on which the twenty-first century’s polarized politics are fought. All this is set against a geopolitical revolution as great as the one that catapulted the United States to world power in the late nineteenth century. Now we are entering a world in which the US is no longer the dominant power. As we find ourselves at the nexus of four seismic revolutions, we can easily imagine a dark future. But Zakaria proves that pessimism is premature. If we act wisely, the liberal international order can be revived and populism relegated to the ash heap of history.

As few public intellectuals can, Zakaria combines intellectual range, deep historical insight, and uncanny prescience to once again reframe and illuminate our turbulent present. His bold, compelling arguments make this book essential reading in our age of revolutions.

About the Author

Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN’s flagship international affairs show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, as well as weekly columnist for the Washington Post. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including his last one, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…

Powerful . . . Zakaria’s book will help readers feel honored and grateful that we get to be part of this glorious and ongoing liberal journey. He understands that we liberals can’t just offer economic benefits; we also have to make the spiritual and civic case for our way of life.
— David Brooks - New York Times

Congrats to @FareedZakaria on his dazzling new book, “Age of Revolutions,” out later this month. So much in it! I found myself marking passage after passage, fact after fact. You gain 10 IQ points just reading this book.
— Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist via X

Zakaria has figured out policy wonkery and TV, and many points between. The Indian-born pundit could thus claim to be America’s best-known tutor on world events. Even by his standards, however, Age of Revolutions is breathtakingly ambitious. . . Age of Revolutions successfully bridges the divide between the general reader and the academic. It is an easy read that offers fresh perspective. That is no mean feat.

— Edward Luce - Financial Times

[Is] the rot in the system fixable or fatal? In his book, Zakaria performs an invaluable service in framing these questions precisely the right way. How sturdy, in the end, will the American and global systems prove against all these hurricane-force winds of change? What’s at stake is modernity itself.
— Michael Hirsh - Foreign Policy

Zakaria believes that we can and do make progress. But he is wary of the assumption that history tends to move in the direction of ever-greater human flourishing . . . Zakaria’s book represents an attempt to distinguish between revolutions that have inspired thermostatic reactions and revolutions that have endured.
— Gideon Lewis-Kraus - New Yorker

Zakaria [is] a lively writer and good storyteller. . . Zakaria warns against revolutions that move too fast and displace too many people; it now seems that’s exactly what went wrong in the last 40 years with the rise of the global economy.
— Tim Wu - New York Times

This is the indispensable book for understanding the world today. Fareed Zakaria tackles the central question of our age: What are the causes of the seismic social disruptions we are going through and the political backlashes that have ensued? Connecting five centuries of history to a deep understanding of our current anxieties, he shows how transformations in technology, economics, and politics interact. We are living through one of the most revolutionary ages in history, and the resulting disruptions have led to a clash between those who celebrate progress, open markets, and technology versus those who resist them. Zakaria argues that we must infuse our journey forward with moral meaning and restore a sense of pride in the ideals of freedom, individual rights, and democracy. The result is both a fascinating look at history and an inspiring vision for the future

— Walter Isaacson, author of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and Einstein, among others
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393239232
ISBN-10: 0393239233
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English