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The End of History and the Last Man Paperback – Mar 1 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reissue edition (March 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284554
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.3 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
The twentieth century, it is safe to say, has made all of us into deep historical pessimists. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hood on May 14 2000
Format: Paperback
Fukuyama's far fetched and frankly irrelevant theories bore me, I'm afraid to say. This was the book that introduced me to that way of thinking - it's basically written by a wealthy American academic (who has spent most of his life employed by the US government), claiming that the American capitalist system has conquered all political alternatives, surpassing even that of democracy and especially that of communism. Capitalism is, for Fukuyama, the end of the evolution of man and the start of an eternal status quo. This idea is laughable in concept and is further ridiculed by his over-selective choice of material which is already outdated. Clearly it is his ideal world - but I not sure that everyone shares it and even less sure that we have reached it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edward Bosnar on May 4 2000
Format: Paperback
It's really hard to top that priceless review below, but I'll give it a shot. It's really amazing that after about seven years of hindsight, people are still writing rave reviews of this book for its amazing philosophical insights. Fukuyama himself had to back-pedal several times to qualify the bubbling optimism he expressed in the early nineties about the final victory of liberal democracy and the "end of History" (he essentially refutes his own thesis in the conclusion to this book). It's also quite interesting that none of the reviewers who loved this book so much noted the inherent contradiction in Fukuyama's use of Marxist philosophical methods to arrive at a "non-Marxist conclusion," or his continuous extolling of Hegel as some sort of predecessor to liberal democracy. Hegel was hardly democratic in outlook (he greatly admired the powerful and autocratic Prussian state) and he can rightfully be considered an early proponent of an exclusive northern German nationalism. Fukuyama's book is very flawed, and should have been relegated to the dustbin of history (no capital "H") long ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By smahadin@hotmail.com on Feb. 26 2000
Format: Paperback
Doubtless, this book received so much media attention because it was a gullible attempt at turning liberal democracy into a philosophy. This was unskillfully done through cutting and pasting from other existing modes of thought. I particullarly found his generalisations about Islam, Japan or even China quite offensive. If one wishes to stigmatise a whole civilisation, I suggest Mr. Fukuyama ignore the current modes of politicised Islam and have a look at the Middle ages when Muslim and Arab scholary work was the first thing scientists and thinkers turned to salvage themselves from the darkness of the middle ages. It is sufficient to point out that Greek philosophy was revived in Europe through back translation of Muslim scholars not to mention other fields such as Medicine, Chemistry, Math, the list goes on... I beleive that in order to understand where the world is going, one should not engage in re-constructing a meta-narrative with half-truths like that which pertains to liberal democracy which may have offered more choice in terms of how many brands of tea are available but at the expence of creating violence, anxieties, tattered family structures and social fiber. I suggest Mr. Fukuyama read history a bit more closely next time and he will find that the only system which managed to truly free humnity and push civlisation to the forefront is the version of Islam that existed before the 16th century.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MR G. Rodgers on April 15 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book with a certain fame or notoriety, not least due to its title. Having finally read it, I can appreciate its appeal and yet am perplexed at why it has been misinterpreted so widely, and why such a badly-written and ill-thought-out work has been taken so seriously.
The danger of a book like this is that it can reinforce or pander to some people's prejudices - after the fall of Communism we in the West did deserve a metaphorical pat on the back, but that's a long way from just kicking back as saying "well folks, this is as good as it gets". A cursory reading of "The End of History" would no doubt assure the armchair warriors that all's well with the world now the Reds have gone.
BUT, Fukuyama is not so sure as that. He puts forward an hypothesis about the triumph of liberal democracy (this is what human history has been leading up to) but utterly fails to prove that hypothesis. That's not to say that the hypothesis is not worthy of thought and debate - Fukuyama is at least to be congratulated for that. What I found less satisfactory was the quality of argument and analysis found in the book, and I'm no professional historian or philosopher. Just two among many examples - Fukuyama classes the USA and Great Britain as a "liberal democracies" from, respectively, 1790 and 1848: utterly astounding. I was equally perplexed by this:
"A century of Marxist thought has accustomed us to think of capitalist societies as highly inegalitarian, but the truth is that they are far more egalitarian in their social effects than the agricultural societies they replaced". Well so what? Last time I was in Rome, I noticed they were no longer throwing Christians to the lions.
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