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The End of History and the Last Man (German) Paperback – 24 Sep 1992

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Sep 1992
£54.41 £6.38
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Open market ed edition (24 Sept. 1992)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 0140154191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140154191
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,653,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Awesome...a landmark...profoundly realistic and important...supremely timely and cogent...the first book to fully fathom the depth and range of the changes now sweeping through the world."
-- George Gilder, "The Washington Post Book World"

"Bold, lucid, scandalously brilliant. Until now, the triumph of the West was merely a fact. Fukuyama has given it a deep and highly original meaning."
-- Charles Krauthammer

"Clearly written...Immensely ambitious...A tightly argued work of political philosophy...Fukuyama deserves to have his argument taken seriously."
-- William H. McNeill, "The New York Times Book Review"

"Provocative and elegant...Complex and interesting...Fukuyama is to be applauded for posing important questions in serious and stimulating ways."
-- Ronald Steel, "USA Today"

"Extraordinary...Controversial...A superb book. Whether or not one accepts his thesis, he has injected serious political philosophy into the discussion of political affairs and thereby significantly enriched it."
-- Mackubin Thomas Owens, "The Washington Times" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. He was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director in the State Department's policy planning staff. He is the author of "The End of History and the Last Man", "Trust", and "America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy". He lives with his wife in California. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The End of History and the Last Man combines a wide range of subjects: history, philosophy, political theory, international relations, economics and psychology to build a coherent model of human history. Fukuyama shows insightfulness and lucidity in this enormous undertaken – he is an intellectual heavyweight.
The book argues that History ends with Liberal Democracy in the political sphere and the free-market in the economic sphere. Its critics contend that it is merely western triumphalism at the end of the Cold War. However, this book is anything but triumphant. Fukuyama analysis the type of man (hence the second, often over-looked, part of the title “…and the Last Man”) living at the end of History. Fukuyama does not like what he sees: the Last Man has no higher ideals above his own health. He lives solely to prolong his existence. He is risk averse; a weak pitiful creature scared of death.
One reviewer of the book gives it one star because Fukuyama uses the Hegelian historical paradigm. However, this is only half the story because Fukuyama builds two independent, although complementary, views of history’s linearity: one Hegelian the other based on improving technology and increasing scientific knowledge. Hence even if you are not Hegelian you can still largely agree with Fukuyama’s arguments.
This is one of my favourite books and it is impossible to do Fukuyama’s clever, finely balanced juxtaposed arguments justice. I can only recommend reading the book. Finally, because this book embraces so many subjects it has made me want to explore many of the ideas behind the arguments.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The year is 1993. The Berlin wall has fallen. The West has won the Cold War. The West's ideology seems triumphant as Communism has been discredited around the world. In this heady political milieu, Francis Fukuyama posits that History has ended because it is directional and inexorably leads all people to choose the most rational form of government: liberal democracy. Twenty years on, Fukuyama's thesis seems questionable.

THE THESIS
The End of History is based on the Hegelian conception of history as the unfolding of Spirit. History, defined by Hegel as the progress of mankind to higher levels of rationality and freedom, terminates in the achievement of full self-consciousness. Fukuyama argues that mankind seems to be making Hegelian progress for two reasons: economics and the need for self-recognition.

1. ECONOMICS. Modern economies need to be rationally organised. Plans need to be made and products produced using rational means. As such, reason and efficiency become the animating features of a modern economy. In the process, rational means of production undermine traditional sources of authority such as clan ties and religion.

2. SELF-RECOGNITION. Various interest groups in a modern country vie for power in order to be 'recognisd'. People, being social creatures, want to have their voices heard. The only system that guarantees that the voices of competing interest groups will indeed be heard is liberal democracy

So far, so good.

THE ANTITHESIS
The End of History was written at the end of the Cold War when Russia was comatose and China had not yet emerged on the world stage. Fast forward twenty years and the story is different. China is the second-largest economy in the world and is emerging as a counter weight to the West.
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Format: Paperback
By 'the end of history' Fukuyama means that humankind has found the ultimate form of governance and that the period of experimentation has come to an end. Hegel and Marx believed that the evolution of human societies would end when mankind had achieved a form of society that satisfies its deepest and most fundamental longings. For Hegel this was the liberal state while for Marx it was a communist society. Fukuyama believes that humanity will be led to liberal democracy.

The book is divided into five sections. Part I addresses the issue of universal history. As individuals we can be optimistic about the 20th century with its improving prospects of health and happiness but pessimistic at the slow progress towards liberal democracy. This 20th century pessimism is in contrast to the optimism of the 19th century marked by peace and improvements in material well being. Science was conquering disease and poverty and the spirit of 1776 and the French Revolution was spreading throughout the world. There was a feeling of accumulating knowledge, increasing wisdom and advancement from the lower to higher levels of intelligence and well being. Free trade was replacing empire building and it seemed that war would be economically irrational. But the 20th century started disastrously with thousands dying daily over a few yards of ground in World War I. Horrendous as this war turned out to be, it was only a foretaste of new forms of evil backed by modern technology and more sophisticated political organization. The ultimate evil of the holocaust emerged in a country with the most advanced industrial economy and one of the most cultured and well-educated populations in Europe, highlighting the need for technological progress to be accompanied by moral progress.
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