From the book:


“A global culture war rages, between those who aspire to end history and those whom they would consign to history.  Notwithstanding the complacency of the powers that be, matters are not yet decided.  Most of humanity remains unconverted to their vision.  The great traditions’ steady loss of ground to global liberalism over the last century should not dishearten us.  It should inspire us to rethink our diagnosis of what ails the modern world; to make sense of why liberal culture has swept over the earth like a plague, and where its vulnerabilities lie; and to imagine how we might roll it back by offering a very different image of the future.  This book proposes not retreating more slowly in the global culture war, but rather winning it on new terrain.”


Beyond the Global Culture War is original and distinctive.  There are many books on the ‘culture wars’ and many on globalization, but I know of none that ties these two phenomena together so tightly and persuasively.  Adam Webb offers a new sort of universal history, one that seeks to supersede the standard liberal one.”

—Professor John M. Owen IV, Department of Politics at the

University of Virginia, and author of Liberal Peace, Liberal War







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Adam K. Webb’s new book, Beyond the Global Culture War,  is a groundbreaking account of the clash between liberal modernity and the forces that resist it.  Webb traces four self-understandings that have contended in all civilizations through history.  He argues that the modern world has seen an upending of history as one of those self-understandings, long kept in check, has run rampant in public culture.  He then turns to the global culture war today.  On one side is the liberal vision of an “end of history,” of markets, moral relativism, and technocratic rule.  On the other is the strident backlash from Islamists, populists, the Christian Right, and Chinese and Hindu nationalists, among others.  Webb shows that today’s resistance will fail, unless the forces of tradition start thinking about how to make common cause with one another.  In the book’s final chapters, he lays out an alternative vision of a truly broad-based challenge to the global liberal order.  Beyond the Global Culture War is distinctive in its cross-cultural breadth.  It stakes out an original intellectual and political position: critical of capitalism and technocracy, sympathetic to traditional virtues and the legacies of past civilizations, and avowedly cosmopolitan in scope.