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The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century [Hardcover]

Seumas Milne
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
In 2001, Tony Blair declared that those who opposed the war on terror had been proved wrong along with critics of unfettered corporate power and free market capitalism. Ten years later, the critics have been comprehensively vindicated and the champions of the New World Order proved catastrophically wrong. The evidence on hand includes the disastrous occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the failure of an economic model that has brought the Western World to its knees. The Revenge of History is a powerful corrective to the discredited dominant account of the first decade of the twenty-first century. As Seumas Milne shows in a panoramic narrative that reaches from 9/11 to beyond the Arab uprisings, crisis and war have turned the orthodoxies of a generation on their head. The neoliberal market, hailed as the only economic option, crashed with devastating consequences; calamitous western military interventions demonstrated the limits of US global power; the rise of China challenged both; while Latin America has embraced social and economic alternatives that were said no longer to exist. In a culture dominated by eager apologists of power, Milne has consistently written against the grain. This book offers a compelling perspective on the convulsions that have brought us to today's crisis and the shape of the emerging politics of the future and an indictment of a global and corporate empire in decline.

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The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century + The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners - 30th Anniversary Edition
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844679632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844679638
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.1 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Reading Seumas Milne, one often has a feeling of physical relief: finally someone not only sees the truth but articulates it with thrilling erudition and moral clarity. Tracking a decade of ruinous lies from the right and unheeded warnings from the left, this is a book with an urgent message: it's time to win more than arguments. --Naomi Klein, author of the Shock Doctrine and No Logo

Praise for The Enemy Within: Seumas Milne's masterly investigation ... is one of the finest political exposes in our time. --John Pilger

Praise for The Enemy Within: Riveting. It knocks spots off the usual 'whodunnit'. --Guardian

About the Author

Seumas Milne is a columnist and Associate Editor on the Guardian and the paper's former Comment Editor. He was previously the Guardian's Labour Editor and a staff journalist on the Economist. He is the author of The Enemy Within and co-author of Beyond the Casino Economy.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rehash rather than a new book 12 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Apart from the introduction this is a collection of Guardian articles from the past few years grouped under various themes. Some are 'edited amalgams of two pieces'. Seumas says: 'Being right was, of course, never going to be enough to shift the entrenched vested interests that depended on building the status quo. What was needed was political and industrial organisation and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.' (p.xvii) Because as he also remarks: '... while the free-market model had been discredited, it was very far from being abandoned... across the Western world, governments used the fallout from the crisis, shock doctrine-style, to try and reconstruct and further entrench the neoliberal system.' This is an argument made by Colin Crouch in his 2011 book The Strange Non-Death of Neo-Liberalism: that neoliberalism will shrug off this challenge. The weakness lies with what might be done and who might do it. When it comes to Chapter 8 'The Tide of Social Change' it seems more like a trickle as he can only cite Latin America and China. These have so far not inspired any significant forces in Britain. Chapter 5 'Resistance and Reaction' likewise deals with Palestine and Iraq. So it seems that our only hope lies in, what used to be called, the 'Third World'. 'The weakness of the anti-corporate movement, in Britain at least, is not so much that it lacks a common world view or programme of action -- something of a strength at this stage -- but that it is disconnected from other more socially rooted groups and organisations.' (p. Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book, informative and passionate, which exposes capitalism's responsibility for wars and crises.

Lord Ashdown told us in November 2001 that warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a `long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign' were `fanciful'. Jack Straw jeered at those who said that US and British troops might still be fighting there a year later.

Milne looks at the illegal Israeli occupation and siege of Palestine, backed by the USA and the EU. Between 2001 and 2008, 14 Israelis were killed and more than 5,000 Palestinians. Michael Ben-Yair, Israel's attorney-general in the mid-1990s, called the Intifada a `war of national liberation' and wrote, "We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justifications for all these activities ... we established an apartheid regime."

Kosovo declared its independence against the wishes of the UN Security Council. Russia, China and Spain all deemed it illegal. NATO forces have occupied Kosovo since 1999. It is `an EU protectorate controlled by Nato troops'. But the Independent on Sunday called NATO's war a `triumph of liberal interventionism'. By 2008 Kosovo had 50 per cent unemployment. It also housed a US military base which was a Guantanamo-style torture camp.

In March 2002 David Frost stated that Mugabe supporters had killed 100,000 people between 2000 and 2002. Actually, 160 people had been killed, by both sides. This was the typical wild inflation of numbers killed by official enemies.

Milne opposed the criminal wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting - well worth a read. 3 Nov 2012
Very interesting - I'm not a Guardian reader and I don't even agree with much of the content. However, this is a good book and makes a number of interesting points. It's well worth a read.

I would ignore the nutters who post on here pretending that this book is poor - it reflects their childish approach to politics.

I can appreciate the strength and logic of someone else's arguments whilst disagreeing.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the loony right 31 Oct 2012
This is an excellent collection of essays by a writer who's been proven correct in his views constantly since the turn of the century. A caveat, however: if you're a member of the Tory Taliban and tend to froth at the mouth and go bug eyed with fury when anyone expresses a view slightly to the left of Himmler, stick with the Daily Mail.
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