Copyright ©2019 Joshua Muravchik | Site by BOCANAT
 

Heaven on Earth

The Rise and Fall of Socialism 

Socialism was the most popular political idea ever invented. Not even the great religions spread so far so fast. Within 150 years after the term “socialism” was coined, roughly 60 percent of humankind found itself living under socialist rule of one kind or another.

 

But creating flesh-and-blood societies that mirrored the socialist vision proved damnably difficult. Each failure inspired new searches for the true path: revolution, communes, social democracy, Communism, Fascism, Third World socialism. None worked as planned, and some exacted staggering tolls.

Then, after two hundred years of wishful thinking and fitful governance, socialism suddenly imploded in a fin du siècle drama of falling walls and collapsing regimes. It was an astonishing denouement, but what followed was no less astonishing. After a couple of decades, new voices were raised, as if innocent of all that had come before, proposing to try it again.


Heaven on Earth traces the pursuit of this phantasm through sketches of the thinkers and leaders who developed the theory, led it to power, and presided over its collapse—as well as those who are trying to revive it today. We see such dreamers and doers as Gracchus Babeuf, Robert Owen, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Benito Mussolini, Clement Attlee, Julius Nyerere; such gravediggers of socialism as Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Tony Blair; and such renewers of the faith as Jeremy Corbin and Bernie Sanders. Heaven on Earth tells a story filled with character and event, giving us an epic chronicle of a movement that tried to turn the world upside down--and for a time succeeded.

Making David into Goliath

How the world turned against Israel

During the Six Day War of 1967, polls showed that Americans favored Israel over the Arabs by overwhelming margins. In Europe, support for Israel ran even higher. Thousands took to the streets of London and Paris to demonstrate their solidarity with the Jewish state. In the United Nations Security Council, a British resolution essentially gave Israel the terms of peace it sought, and when the Arabs and their Soviet supporters tried to counteract the resolution in the General Assembly, they fell short of the necessary votes.

 

Fast forward 40 years and Israel has become perhaps the most reviled country in the world. Although Americans have remained constant in their sympathy for the Jewish state, almost all of the rest of the world treats Israel as a pariah. During the 2014 war in Gaza rage at Israel grew so white hot as to kindle shameless expressions of overt anti-Semitism the likes of which the world had not seen since the fall of Hitler.

 

What caused this remarkable turnabout?

 

MAKING DAVID INTO GOLIATH traces the process by which material pressures and intellectual fashions reshaped world opinion of Israel. Initially, terrorism, oil blackmail, and the sheer size of Arab and Muslim populations gave the world powerful inducements to back the Arab cause. Then, a prevalent new paradigm of "social justice," in which the plight of the poor was supplanted by the redemptive struggles of people of color, created a lexicon of rationales for taking sides against Israel. Thus, nations and individuals can posture as high-minded on the Middle East even while pursuing a calculus of craven self-interest. 

Trailblazers of the Arab Spring:

Voice of Democracy in the Middle East

Before September 11, 2001 we Americans did not think much about freedom or democracy in the Middle East. U.S. policy toward the region aimed to assure a reliable flow of oil, to encourage peace between the Arabs and Israel, and above all, during the Cold War, to prevent our rival from gaining any strategic advantage over us. 9/11 impelled us to reconsider. 

Now, as we are entangled in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the Mid-East’s political and social quandaries lie at the very core of our foreign policy objectives. And yet, after years of blood and fortune spent on the democratization of the Middle East, the most identifiable personalities in the region are notorious terrorists, backwards autocrats and fanatical preachers. As Joshua Muravchik demonstrates inTrailblazers of the Arab Spring, there are in fact also heroic democrats and liberals in these lands of anti-democratic fanaticism, and the fight they are fighting is also our fight.

Muravchik brings to light the stories of seven remarkable people, six Arabs and an Iranian. Five are men; two, women. Four are Sunnis, two are Shiites, and the seventh is mixed. All are devoted passionately to a cause, and, while the angles from which they attack it are varied, the larger goal is the same for all seven—to make their countries more open and democratic. Trailblazers of the Arab Spring reminds us that freedom is a prize that must be won through struggle and sacrifice, and it introduces us to our anonymous friends who have consecrated their lives to the birth of free societies in the Middle East.

Exporting Democracy

Fulfilling America's Destiny 

Should America try to bring democracy to countries that are young or poor or that have cultures very different from our own? This book shows why the sophisticates have been wrong, why idealism offers the most sound basis for US policy. Since its small beginnings in 1776, America has served as the world's great engine of democracy. Our aid and trade, our overseas broadcasts and libraries, our cloak-and-dagger exploits, but above all else, the power of our example have been forces of moral good throughout the world. Foreseeing a Pax Americana in the next century resulting not from war or diplomacy but from the triumph of democratic ideals, the author argues that the effort to spread democracy further should form the core of US foreign policy

The Uncertain Crusade

Jimmy Carter and The Dilemmas of Human Rights Policy

Rocked by scandal and divided by the smoldering enmities unleashed by the Iraq war, the United Nations faces its most critical hour. The secretary general and other leaders have offered their recipes for reform; in The Future of the United Nations, Joshua Muravchik argues that only far more radical reforms can salvage the UN as a useful institution.The central cause of the UN's failure, Muravchik says, is that it was structured as a proto world government, with the power to make law and enforce peace. Member states were asked to yield a measure of their independence in return for the protections that the UN would offer them. But Muravchik shows that this global social contract was a dead letter from the start, because the protections were illusory.

The Imperative of American Leadership

A Challenge to Neo-Isolationism 

This book is a neoconservative argument for a U.S. foreign policy that is engaged, proactive, interventionist, and expensive. Muravchik posits that there is no authority higher than America, and pushes for America to accept the role of world leader rather than wallow in "peacetime aloofness," unwilling to give up security for the reins of power.

The Future of the United Nations Understanding the Past to Chart a Way Forward  

Rocked by scandal and divided by the smoldering enmities unleashed by the Iraq war, the United Nations faces its most critical hour. The secretary general and other leaders have offered their recipes for reform; in The Future of the United Nations, Joshua Muravchik argues that only far more radical reforms can salvage the UN as a useful institution.The central cause of the UN's failure, Muravchik says, is that it was structured as a proto world government, with the power to make law and enforce peace. Member states were asked to yield a measure of their independence in return for the protections that the UN would offer them. But Muravchik shows that this global social contract was a dead letter from the start, because the protections were illusory.

Covering the Intifada

How the Media Reported the Palestinian Uprising 

A pathbreaking study of both electronic and print coverage by the elite U.S. media during the second Palestinian uprising against Israel. The author assesses the charge of media bias and discusses whether the Fourth Estate has lived up to its claim to provide an informed, accurate, and dispassionate " first draft" of history.