“This has turned out to be one of those years when old assumptions, moral as well as political and economic, collapse, and we are ushered into a new epoch. It will take time to even understand the implications of this transformation, which reach deep into the literary and cultural realms, let alone figure out where we are headed. In the meantime, we must look for writing that illuminates the era that has just ended. David Kennedy’s A World of Struggle: How Power, Law and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy (Princeton) can hardly be bettered as a description of how the world has been run and why it is so difficult to change its dysfunctional ideologies and institutions. Timothy Nunan’s Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan (Cambridge) is a groundbreaking study of a little understood experience of modernity in what used to be called the third world. Finally available in an English translation, Jean Guéhenno’s Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris (trans David Ball, Oxford) is eerily resonant with the dilemmas of writers in many neofascist countries today. In Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary and the Crisis That Shook the World, Alex von Tunzelmann shows why she is one of our most skilful and resourceful young historians. I was also fascinated by Joel Whitney’s ingeniously researched Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers.”
— Pankaj Mishra

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