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God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World

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God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An illuminating account of the birth and rise of the global political and economic system that, sustained first by Britain and now by America, created the modern world.

Walter Russell Mead, one of our most distinguished foreign policy experts, makes clear that the key to the predominance of the two countries has been the individualistic ideology of the prevailing Anglo-American religion. Mead explains how this helped create a culture uniquely adapted to capitalism, a system under which both countries thrived. We see how, as a result, the two nations were able to create the liberal, democratic system whose economic and social influence continues to grow around the world.

With wit, verve, and stunning insight, Mead recounts what is, in effect, the story of a centuries-long war between the English-speaking peoples and their enemies. Sustained by control of the oceans that surround them, the British and their American heirs built a global system of politics, power, investment, and trade over the past three hundred years. Along the way, the two nations developed a sophisticated grand strategy that brought the English-speaking powers to a pinnacle of global power and prestige unmatched in the history of the world.

Since Oliver Cromwell's day, the English-speakers have seen their enemies as haters of liberty and God who care nothing for morality, who will do anything to win, and who rely on a treacherous fifth column to assure victory. Those enemies, from Catholic Spain and Louis XIV to the Nazis, communists, and Al-Qaeda, held similar beliefs about their British and American rivals, but we see that though the Anglo-Americans have lost small wars here and there, they have won the major conflicts. So far.

The stakes today are higher than ever; technological progress makes new and terrible weapons easier for rogue states and terror groups to develop and deploy. Where some see an end to history and others a clash of civilizations, Mead sees the current conflicts in the Middle East as the latest challenge to the liberal, capitalist, and democratic world system that the Anglo-Americans are trying to build. What we need now, he says, is a diplomacy of civlizations based on a deeper understanding of the recurring conflicts between the liberal world system and its foes. In practice, this means that Americans generally, and especially the increasingly influential evangelical community, must develop a better sense of America's place in the world.

Mead's emphasis on the English-speaking world as the chief hero (and sometimes villain) in modern history changes the way we see the world. Authoritative and lucid, God and Gold weaves history, literature, philosophy, and religion together into an eminently important worka dazzling book that helps us understand the world we live in and our tumultuous times.

Review:

"For Walter Russell Mead, the story of modernity is largely the history of the English-speaking peoples. Over the past five centuries, the central fact of global politics, he argues, has been the rise to dominance first of Great Britain and then of the United States. Modernity has been defined by these two countries and the common political and moral culture they represent. Mead acknowledges minor... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Walter Russell Mead is the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a regular book reviewer for Foreign Affairs, a member of the editorial board of The American Interest, and a founding board member of the New America Foundation. He has written frequently for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Esquire. His books include Special Providence, which won the Lionel Gelber Award (“the worlds most important prize for nonfiction” The Economist) in 2002, and Power, Terror, Peace, and War. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375414039
Subtitle:
Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World
Author:
Mead, Walter Russell
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
World politics
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Modern - General
Subject:
Great Britain Foreign relations.
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071009
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.46x6.58x1.45 in. 1.64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » World History » England » General

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