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    Adam K. Webb grew up in England, Spain, and the United States.  After attending Harvard as an undergraduate in Social Studies, he received a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton in 2002.  He is currently a Lecturer on Social Studies at Harvard, where he teaches seminars on globalization and modernity and its critics.  Before that, he was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  His more off-the-beaten-track ventures in the past have included volunteering in rural Ecuador, interviewing peasants about the Peruvian guerrilla movement, and teaching African refugees in Yemen.

 

    Beyond the Global Culture War is his first book.  It comes out of his longstanding interest in the clashes of vision that divide the modern world.  Over several years, his sympathy with both tradition and social justice led him to a deep appreciation of many critiques of triumphant capitalist globalization.  But he found most of those critiques, and the political movements intertwined with them, unpromising.  Either they were just trying to smooth the rough edges of capitalism, without getting at what was really wrong with modern society; or they were defending one culture or tradition, and had nothing to offer the rest of the world; or they were celebrating the worst rather than the best of the past.  Webb thought it odd that the breathless optimism of those who benefited from globalization, especially during the heady days of the late 1990s, was not being seriously challenged.  What alternatives were on offer did not go much beyond warmed-over Marxism, self-indulgent postmodernism, or insular fundamentalism and populism.  They made plenty of noise but held out little real political hope.  The world was missing an alternative that would go beyond left and right while taking seriously the question of how to bridge what remained of the great civilizations.  Webb believed that triumphant globalization was getting the scale right, but the content wrong, and that only an alternative that could challenge it for the widest horizons would stand any chance of winning.  In Beyond the Global Culture War, he makes a first attempt to map out what such a true alternative to liberal modernity might look like.  He hopes with this book to open a serious debate among likeminded intellectuals and activists around the world.