After publishing articles in leading American journals for over two decades, Kishore Mahbubani was described as “an Asian Toynbee, preoccupied with the rise and fall of civilizations” by The Economist. Trained in philosophy in North America and Asia, and well-experienced in real politik as a diplomat on the world stage, Mahbubani has unusual insight into America’s ever more troubled relationship with the rest of the world.
In Beyond the Age of Innocence Mahbubani reveals to us the America that Asia and the rest of the world see. We are a country that has given hope to billions by creating a society where destiny is not determined at birth. After the Second World War, we created a global order which allowed many nations to flourish. But when the Cold War ended, America made a terrible mistake. We started behaving like a normal country, ignoring the plight of others, indifferent to the consequences of our decisions on others. America was imprudent in its policy towards two large masses of mankind: the Chinese and Muslim populations. Guantanamo damaged our moral authority, but Abu Ghraib, paradoxically, may have demonstrated the accountability of American institutions. Still, disillusionment with America has spread to all corners.
To allow any lasting gap between America and the world, Mahbubani argues, would be a colossal strategic mistake for America and a huge loss to the world. But there is still time for the US to change course; and in this thought-provoking, visionary book, Mahbubani shows us how.