Sunday, July 14, 2013

On My Nightstand

Just finished Christian Caryl's Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. Caryl a journalist uses the lives of Margaret Thatcher, Deng Xiapeng, Ayatollah Khomeini and Pope John Paul II to explain why the events in 1979 changed the world in which we live. It is a fascinating study that is researched in a manner that is only possible given the access to information that is now available via the internet. Not only is there depth but breadth that creates linkages that would have previously remained hidden. For anyone wanting to understand how conservative values gained currency and became themselves revolutionary in nature the book is a must read. Caryl charts the growth and popularity of free-market capitalism as advocated by the monetary policies of Milton Friedman and the Chicago school and how religious fundamentalism came into its own to counter Western ideologies. These shifts in ideology are important as something fundamental changed both in the west and the middle east in this period. 

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