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A Savage Order: How the World's Deadliest Countries Can Forge a Path to Security Paperback – October 22, 2019
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"A Savage Order urges us to abandon untethered idealism, middle-class apathy, and partisan devotion that blinds us to unorthodox solutions, and to join the ranks of pragmatic reformers working to protect innocent lives around the globe. Encouragingly, we have a good idea of what works." —The Wall Street Journal
"An argument for the ways in which countries can emerge from political polarization, corruption, violence, and chaos . . . Richly researched . . . and easily accessible . . . A solid, convincing argument based on experience, research, travel, and intelligence." —Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*
“This is a brilliant analysis of societies that appear to be intractably violent, but in fact are not—including our own. A Savage Order is original, penetrating, and filled with gripping history and reporting.” —Steven Pinker
“A Savage Order gives us a comprehensive survey of countries that have overcome extreme violence and shows how there is a common thread to their recoveries, one that could be of tremendous help to countries currently in the grip of deadly violence. Rachel Kleinfeld’s analysis is both analytically rigorous and accessible, and will be required reading for those players and policymakers who are actually trying to deal with such terrible problems today.” —Francis Fukuyama
“A Savage Order is a fascinating, moving, and deeply important study that will be widely read by scholars, activists, policy makers and ordinary citizens who seek a more peaceful and just world.” —Larry Diamond
“In this exhaustively researched and deftly reasoned volume, Rachel Kleinfeld shows us why durable solutions to bloodshed lie not with repression or dirty deals, but with an engaged middle class and political leadership framing demands for reform in rigorously nonpartisan ways.”
“Nearly 370 years after Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan, we still lack both an understanding of the underpinnings of social order, and practical strategies to achieve it. This book brings together a new theoretical argument with rich case study evidence which provides a roadmap, if not a magic wand, for how social order can be successfully achieved. Breaks new ground wherever it moves.” —James A. Robinson
“Chock-full of surprising statistics, vignettes and the fascinating observations that Rachel Kleinfeld has gathered in two decades studying violence, A Savage Order is an obligatory reference to those interested in understanding and solving one of the defining problems of our time.” —Moisés Naim
About the Author
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525432965
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525432968
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.98 x 7.97 inches
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (October 22, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #893,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The poor, in particular, are powerless against extortion, intimidation and murder by gangs and their cronies in government. Her examples detail the messy and complex realities and point to the difficulty of finding a quick fix to intractable and deeply seated inequities that have resulted in cultures with years of endemic violence perpetrated by the privileged few upon the many.
One key to forging a path to security is development and empowerment of a middle class. Another is the creation of a government powerful enough to curb extra-governmental violence be free from corruption. She makes it clear that the path to such a balance often requires compromise, even dirty deals between a nascent responsible government and the criminal and paramilitary groups who are often in corrupt league with the prior government.
There is a detailed discussion of the RICO laws and how similar reasoning might be used to develop other tools such as financial regulations that address money laundering which is exemplified by cash real estate transactions in major centers such as London and Miami. She even suggests the possible efficacy of denying admission to top universities for the children of the worst offenders.
The amount and scope of the research is astounding, much of it done on location. This is evidence based analysis of a very high order. The notes and bibliography are extensive and provide ample evidence for her conclusions and direct the reader to a trove of material for further exploration of this vital topic. If you have any interest in the rule of law, do yourself a favor and please read this important and excellent book.
Starting with the first chapters - comparing the violence of the American west to the American south - I was captivated. One realizes that much of the history taught in American schools has been watered down to not upset people-to the detriment of our society. The concise chapter on why the American south was able to pulled out of the cycle of violence should be required reading for every American. Because of the case studies, this book is very readable and does not get hung up in theory.
This book is so thought provoking. You may not agree with everything in it. Will you agree with the idea of dirty compromises discussed in the book as necessary? But on almost every page you will be challenged with interesting perspectives and research that backs up the authors thesis.
Any person interested in how society can change and get better, as well as people interested in history should read this book. I found myself taking notes in the margins, this is the first time I have done this reading a book in over ten years.
I cannot praise this book high enough. When you read it, you will find that you will want to discuss the content with peers.
But the author never tries to oversimplify the complex, and gives the full side of every story. Some heroes die, some become villains who are replaced by other heroes, who become villains.
It is a complex process but it can be done. And she shows how it has been done in widely differing places. An honest but ultimately optimistic take on human nature.