The Ideas that Conquered the World by Michael Mandelbaum
Peace, Democracy, and Free Markets in the Twenty-first Century

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At the dawn of the twenty-first century, three ideas dominate the world: peace as the preferred basis for relations between and among different countries, democracy as the optimal way to organize political life, and free markets as the indispensable vehicle for the creation of wealth. While not practiced everywhere, these ideas have--for the first time in history--no serious rivals. And although the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were terrible and traumatic, they did not "change everything," as so many commentators have asserted. Instead, these events served to illuminate even more brightly the world that emerged from the end of the Cold War.

In The Ideas That Conquered the World, Michael Mandelbaum describes the uneven spread (over the past two centuries) of peace, democracy, and free markets from the wealthy and powerful countries of the world's core, where they originated, to the weaker and poorer countries of its periphery. And he assesses the prospects for these ideas in the years to come, giving particular attention to the United States, which bears the greatest responsibility for protecting and promoting them, and to Russia, China, and the Middle East, in which they are not well established and where their fate will affect the rest of the world.

Drawing on history, politics, and economics, this incisive book provides a clear and original guide to the main trends of the twenty-first century, from globalization to terrorism, through the perspective of one of our era's most provocative thinkers.


About Michael Mandelbaum

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Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University, and is a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a regular foreign affairs columnist for Newsday and the author or co-author of eight books on foreign policy.
Published January 8, 2004 by PublicAffairs. 530 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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the market economy presupposes winners and losers, and while Mandelbaum has little trouble plumping for the peace and democracy elements, he is less convincing on the free market angle: Was US intervention in the Middle East—for instance, in Iran in 1953—really conducive to free trade as the oil-...

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Mandelbaum, foreign policy professor at Johns Hopkins and a Newsday columnist, brings extensive experience in policy analysis to this examination of the political and economic ideas he believes will dominate the post–Cold War era.

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