In This Review

The World Revolution Of Westernization
The World Revolution Of Westernization
By Theodore H. Von Laue
Oxford, 1988, 396 pp

Large portions of this book constitute a standard summary history of the twentieth century. What gives it distinction is the way in which Von Laue plays on the dominant theme of Western power, productivity and influence as they have spread from the western edge of Europe eastward to Russia, Asia, and in time to the entire world, meeting the resistance of other cultures but also inevitably evoking imitation-Westernization by anti-Westernizers. But this Westernized world remains one of mutual incomprehension, mistrust and fear. The book is written with verve, peppered with original insights along with questionable generalizations, and it proceeds with a kind of Spenglerian sweep to its deeply pessimistic conclusions.