How the West Was Lost: The Decline of a Myth and the Search for New Stories (Hardcover)
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Westerners love an existential crisis. Each decade since the First World War has raised up prophets of doom proclaiming the end of the Western world as we know it. But this time it's real. Weighed down by economic woes, the seemingly endless war on terror, and the declining power of religion as a unifying force, the West has been limping along. With the public sphere fraying and authoritarian politics rising, this deep-seated crisis is now urgent, and potentially fatal. How did we get here? Ben Ryan's diagnosis is simple: the West is a myth, and it is dying. Its own people are no longer convinced or united by its defining ideal--a sense of universal morals, and of constant progress towards them. Following a series of 'system failures', Westerners--from urban millennials to post-industrial workers-- have lost faith in the West as a moral force. Yet there is a chance for redemption, if we can forge a new common myth of the West: one reviving its great values, and reshaping its ideals for a diverse, forward-looking world. This smart and thoughtful book explores what the West is, what has happened to it, and how we might save it.
About the Author
Ben Ryan is Head of Research at the think tank Theos. He is the editor of Fortress Britain? Ethical Approaches to Immigration Policy for a Post-Brexit Britain and has authored several Theos reports. He holds degrees in European Politics from the LSE and in Theology and Religious Studies from Cambridge.