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The Return of History

Jennifer Welsh's 2016 Massey Lecture is about the reappearance of disturbing trends and practices — like attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities — many believed had been erased.

Jennifer Welsh

In 1989, as the Berlin Wall crumbled, American political commentator Francis Fukuyama wrote a famous essay entitled "The End of History." He argued that the demise of the confrontation between communism and capitalism signalled the end of humanity's sociocultural and political evolution and the path toward a more peaceful world.

But a quarter of a century after Fukuyama's bold prediction, history has returned. The 21st century has not seen unfettered progress toward peace, but the reappearance of trends and practices many believed had been erased: arbitrary executions, attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities, the starvation of besieged populations, invasion and annexation of territory, and the mass movement of refugees and displaced persons.

The 2016 Massey Lectures will illustrate and explain this return of history and will argue how the reappearance of things deemed "barbaric" or "medieval" has a modern twist. (From House of Anansi Press)

Author interviews | More about this book

Author interviews

The 2016 Massey Lecturer and author of "The Return of History" answers The Next Chapter's version of the Proust Questionnaire. 4:20
After the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, it seemed to some thinkers we'd arrived at the "end of history." But it sure doesn't seem that way today. This year's Massey lecturer Jennifer Welsh shares her thoughts on The Return of History. 23:40

More about this book

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures: The Return of History

Ideas

4 years ago
1:13
In 1989 American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution. Our recent history, filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature. 1:13

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures: The Return of Barbarism

Ideas

4 years ago
1:18
In 1989 American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution. Our recent history, filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature. 1:18

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures: The Return of Mass Flight

Ideas

4 years ago
1:32
In 1989 American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution. Our recent history, filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature. 1:32

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures: The Return of Cold War

Ideas

4 years ago
1:20
In 1989 American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution. Our recent history, filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature. 1:20

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