One of Financial Times' Best Books of 2012
"A significant contribution to historical scholarship, with the chapters on the 19th century's remarkable swirl of politics, ideas and organisations being particularly original and valuable... Simply for giving us this lucid account, Mazower deserves our gratitude. But Governing the World is also an intriguing read because of the strong argument he places within it... This new work certainly gave this reviewer an awful lot to think about--to an author, there may be no greater praise than that."
--Paul Kennedy, Financial Times
"Mazower has strengthened his claim to be the preeminent historian of a generation. Combining breathtaking originality with meticulous and gloriously eclectic research, he offers the most convincing explanation yet articulated for the exaggerated, even hysterical, expectations of the 1990s and the subsequent collapse of optimism after the Millennium now translated into a fear that grips large parts of the Western world. On rare occasions, a work of history emerges that not only fundamentally refashions our understanding of the past, it enables us to reassess the present and, with luck, influence our future. I advise everyone who is concerned about our precarious situation to learn from and absorb Mazower's remarkable achievement."
"Governing Europe, and then the whole world... This idea has found its perfect chronicler in Mark Mazower, whose perceptions are cosmopolitan, humane, learned, and properly skeptical. What is more, his history is written in clear, elegant prose. Essential reading not just for historians, but anyone interested in the troubled world we live in."
"A prodigious work: a master historian's reconstruction of how individuals and nations since 1815 have sought to promote national interests in ever more complicated international settings. A dramatic, novel account of ideas and institutions in collision with hard realities. Indispensable also for its full and subtle account of American policies since 1917, always with a fine touch for the hitherto neglected person or little noticed moment that illuminates historic processes. Profound, relevant, and morally instructive--and a pleasure to read."
"This is a book that needed to be written ... [Governing the World] is truly illuminating ... The story is a fascinating one, and Mazower tells it with authority and verve."
--Adam Zamoyski, Literary Review
"The idea of global government has entranced the world for centuries. Mark Mazower's brilliant book shows how much effort has gone into this idea—and how futile it has mostly been in an era of individualism and growing divisiveness."
"After tracing the early strands of internationalism, Mazower moves into the modern's era complex convergence of political and economic factors in forging what Mikhail Gorbachev called a 'new world order.' The peacetime League of Nations, despite its failures, would 'marry the democratic idea of a society of nations with the reality of Great Power hegemony.' Finally, Mazower brings us to the present, as a European union has been achieved, but has been driven by a 'bureaucratic elite' with little sense of 'principles of social solidarity and human dignity,' except perhaps by noted philanthropists. A well-articulated, meticulously supported study."
About the Author
Mark Mazower is the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler’s Empire and The Balkans: A Short History, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History, among other books. He lives in New York City.