Michael Burleigh

Imminent Return to Chaos & War

The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth

By

Oxford University Press 218pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Michael Mandelbaum is one of the most lucid American commentators on international affairs. His books are thought-provoking, even when one does not agree with him. He has an enviable knack of explaining complex matters in crisp and sometimes witty prose.

The focus of The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth is the quarter-century following the end of the Cold War in 1989–90, which Mandelbaum says we will come to regard as largely a period of peace. The post-Cold War peace was ‘like the play of a slot machine that rewards the player with a jackpot: a rare event, but one produced by the normal working of the machine and, because of the way the machine works, very unlikely to be repeated any time soon’. If this sounds ominous as to our future, it is supposed to. Mandelbaum sees the aggressive nationalist revisionism exhibited by three major powers, China, Iran and Russia, as the greatest threat to global peace.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,