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Date of Publication: 2002
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The Clash of Civilizations: And the Remaking of World Order Paperback – 5 Jun 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; New edition edition (5 Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074323149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743231497
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The thesis of the provocative and potentially important Clash of Civilizations is that the increasing threat of violence arising from renewed conflicts between countries and cultures that base their traditions on religious faith and dogma. This argument moves past the notion of ethnicity to examine the growing influence of a handful of major cultures--Western, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu and African--in current struggles across the globe. Samuel P Huntington, a political scientist at Harvard University and foreign policy aide to President Clinton, argues that policymakers should be mindful of this development when they interfere in other nations' affairs. --Christine Buttery --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"One of the most important books to have emerged since the end of the Cold War" Henry Kissinger; "The book is dazzling in its scope and grasp of the intricacies of contemporary global politics" Francis Fukuyama; "An intellectual tour de force: bold, imaginative, and provocative. A seminal work that will revolutionize our understanding of international affairs" Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Professor Huntington wrote this book 15 years ago, as an expansion of his thesis on the importance of culture in determining allegiances and identity. His original thesis was first published in "Foreign Affairs" in 1993, not that long after the Soviet Union collapsed, and with it communism as an ideology that provided a structure for the economic relationships within a society. It was an attempt to answer the simply question raised by many a policy wonk and think tank habitué: Now what? (after 50 years of "Cold War"). The book has been widely influential; a minor "Bible" of sorts, and there is enough in it that, like the Bible itself, you can quote a certain passage to support your point of view. The title is a bit provocative, misleading, and even inappropriate, since it has been seized upon by those who which to promote endless war; those who President Eisenhower warned Americans against, the famous military-industrial complex, who have a vested interest in promoting the "clash" aspect. How much better if it had been entitled as the subject to this review, which is indeed the title that Huntington gave to the last section in his book.

Huntington's book was one of the first to elucidate the transition from the bi-polar world of the Cold War to the multi-polar world of today. The author identifies and characterizes the multi-polar areas: the West, Latin America, the Russian or Orthodox area, China, India and the Islamic world. With the rise of other power centers, the influence and dominance of the West has declined, much to the consternation of the supporters of implicit Empire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
Samuel P Huntington's dark classic “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”, first published in 1996, comes with positive blurbs from Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, hardly lightweights on the darker side of things. The 2003 edition spouts a cover showing a Muslim flag alongside the star spangled banner, to boost sales, no doubt. Huntington's work is controversial, both among the official optimists á la Fukuyama, Clinton and Dubya who believe that America-with-a-capital-A will spread “liberal democracy” and “free market” economy all around the world, and those who prefer a dialogue between civilizations to a clash (or support one of the non-Western civilizations).

However, Huntington's work is actually *less* bellicose than I expected. Somewhat surprisingly, the author calls for a multi-polar world! Of course, it's a multi-polar world of a more “realist” kind than the harmonious co-existence most of us would have preferred. In Huntington's version, “fault line wars” between countries of different civilizations are never far away, and in a worst case scenario they may even lead to a new world war. The solution is a new balance of power between “core states” (the regional great powers of each civilization), the most important of which are the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan. The “core states” are also responsible for policing the rogues and rednecks of their respective civilizations, to make sure that “fault line wars” are kept to a minimum. Thus, the Russians should police the Serbs, India should police the Tamils, and (I suppose) the West should cool down the Croats or the Ukrainians. (Are we?
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By M. McManus VINE VOICE on 15 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was written as a prophecy about what the author felt would characterise the C21st. Now that we are nearly a decade into the C21st, we have the ability to look back and see if he was right. If yes, then this book was prophetic and its lessons should be learned. If not, then he is wrong, and the book is little more than an airport novel.

On one or two dimensions, Huntingdon has been extraordinarily accurate, predicting that Islamic extremism would become the number one security threat to the West in the C21st. Ominously, he predicted that the West would be driven to attack nations that possessed WMDs in the fear they would pass them on to terrorists. This is the Bush doctrine, written before Bush was even an elected official, never mind President. Equally ominous, he predicted that Islamic radicals would rally to the cause of any Muslim state attacked in such a way, and the influx of foreign insurgents into Iraq confirms this. Interestingly, the author predicts that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be very prominent in the C21st, yet never actually names the organisations by name (in the case of Al Qaeda because it did not adopt its current name until several years after the book was written).

Huntingdon is slightly inaccurate in his prediction that China would become more bellicose and confrontational. At least so far, China has been warm towards the West, with trade deals and cultural exchanges flourishing. Another weakness of the book is his rather arbitrary definition of societies, and his notion that a "core state" would drive forward its respective civilisation. This is not the case, with supra-national agencies taking the place of "core states".

Overall, the book is highly recommended. However, given its relative age, it would be advisable to buy a more recent book on geopolitics as well, to top up the introduction that this book provides.
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