Sunday, October 2, 2011

Two New Reviews: Emmanuel Todd's The Final Fall and After the Empire

I have recently posted a pair of reviews of books by Emmanuel Todd, 1976's The Final Fall, and 2003's After the Empire. The first book was a prediction about the demise of the Soviet Union and its East European empire; the second, a prediction about the end of American hegemony.

The two analyses are nearly three decades apart in time, but contain a number of interesting parallels, not least economic dysfunction concealed behind brighter-looking statistics, declining tolerance and universalism (and with it, external appeal), increasing militarism, and the breakdown of their influence over their European partners – the bottoming out of which marks the end of each empire.

History proved Todd at least half-right about the Soviet Union. Where the U.S. is now, let alone where it will be in the coming years, remains open to question, but his argument is at the very least food for thought.

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