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The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order Paperback – June 15, 2000
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Virginia Postrel Los Angeles Times Innovative...engaging....Fukuyama provides a lucid course in "one of the most important intellectual developments of the late twentieth century."
Anthony Gottlieb The New York Times Book Review Francis Fukuyama is an analyst who does not, intellectually speaking, get out of bed for anything less than the all-encompassing grand sweep of history....His new book, The Great Disruption, tackles social and moral development on the same grand scale as his earlier work.
Alan Ehrenhalt The Wall Street Journal One of the ways we learn about dramatic social change in the 1990s is that Francis Fukuyama shows up to tell us it is happening....He asks large questions; and he changes the agenda of public debate. We are still talking about The End of History. I imagine we will be talking about The Great Disruption for quite a while.
Michael Kazin The Washington Post Book World Fukuyama is one of the few American intellectuals of any ideological bent capable of training a knowledge of world history and a grasp of social theory on topics of undeniable contemporary significance.
Walter Kirn New York Magazine Fukuyama is no alarmist -- he's too cool for that, too academic and wedded to the sociological long view -- but now and then he spins a nightmare scenario....Fukuyama draws on a dozen disciplines, from game theory to genetics, to make his case that stable states arise naturally from chaotic interludes the way Sunday morning follows Saturday night.
Linda Chavez The Washington Times With another presidential campaign gearing up -- and the inevitable discussion of family values that each election brings -- The Great Disruption ought to be required reading among both parties' candidates.
Howard Gleckman Business Week Agree with him or not, Fukuyama makes a challenging case.
George Scialabba The Boston Globe [Fukuyama] has made out a great deal in this book and his previous books, and will undoubtedly teach us a great deal more. Three seminal books in a mere seven years. What next?
Charles Murray Commentary The Great Disruption takes on questions that go to the heart of social policy writ large. It is written with never-failing lucidity, brings together vast and disparate literatures, and makes one think in new ways about the prospects of post-industrial society. That is quite enough for one book.
Andrew Ferguson The Weekly Standard The Great Disruption is a learned and impressive work, ranging easily across disciplines, combining fact and argument in subtle and unexpected ways.
About the Author
Francis Fukuyama is a professor of public policy at George Mason University and the author of The End of History and the Last Man and Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. He lives in McLean, Virginia.
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In the end his conclusions were very anti-climactic. There have been many of these "disruptions" in the past and this current one is just another like the ones before (not so "Great" after all?) and it is currently on the decline, taking care of itself, so apparently all you and I need to do is sit back in our LazyBoys and have another beer! NOT a feel-good book, they say? I think it IS. I would recommend it only for the first half of the book.
Esperanto is the futile attempt at coldly and analytically inventing a world language. A mere handful of academics and other peculiar devotees keep this doomed hope alive. Meticulously planned utopian schemes conflict with an individual's required freedom to create new paradigms when the serendipitous urge strikes their soul. Religion, like language, is also a phenomenon relying heavily upon a pervasive irrationality and unplanned events to convert the hearts and minds of its loyal adherents. Unitarianism is the dubious relative of the Esperanto movement. This religious organization's total world membership might not fill a good size football field. Fukuyama may accept the pragmatic importance of religious belief, but does he share my uneasiness when attending a religious ceremony? The data overwhelmingly prove that the more conservative religious traditions are organizationally more vibrant and have much higher membership rolls than their Liberal latitudinarian opposites. Does this mean that most people desire authoritarian direction? Am I a hypocrite who argues that religion is great for everybody else but me? Should I join a religious organization merely to prove solidarity with my next door neighbors? Is the general welfare, the so called communitarian social capital, instead better served if I opt to intellectually improve myself by reading the Sunday morning edition of the New York Times? Also, am I permitted to make fun of well educated Yuppies who indulge in such peculiar practices as "feng shui?" Paraphrasing the previously mentioned G.K. Chesterton, are people who abandon mainstream religions more susceptible in falling for the more bizarre manifestations of religious practices? The "true believer" depicted by Eric Hoffer frighten us far more than the agnostic. A secular democracy prefers ambiguity to the alternative risk of seeking final answers to questions that have forever haunted the human condition. It may be paradoxically conceded that religious faith sustains the typical citizen's desire for meaning in a heartless and uncaring universe, but aren't we compelled to discourage them from taking it too seriously? Cutting slack whenever possible and placing minimal restrictions upon adult behavior seems to work best for our Twenty First century American democracy. "The Great Disruption" has few answers, but that is not the fault of the author. I think it was Michael Oakshott who said that polite and genuine conversation is our best hope. Francis Fukuyama is to be wholeheartedly credited for assisting us to ask the right questions. That is why this book deserves five stars.
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Fukuyama has collected research from dozens of different sciences to expose western social problems.Read more