... a thoughtful critique but ultimately a stalwart defence of liberalism ... urgent and timely ... His exegesis of critical theory from Marcuse through to Foucault, and how it has been widely adopted as a tool of sociopolitical analysis, is a brilliantly acute summary of the way some aspects of liberal thought have consumed themselves ... Although he outlines some familiar complaints about social media monopolies and their baleful effect on political discourse, the overall sense you gain from this book is that liberalism is in crisis because of the complacency that set in with its successes. Liberal democracy has delivered on many fronts, but with each step forward it left many constituencies behind ... This book does not supply all, or enough, of the answers. But it’s a good place to start with asking the essential questions.
... [an] academic treatise that may actually have influence in the arena of practical politics ... Fukuyama writes with a crystalline rationality ... Fukuyama disdains what he calls 'a laundry list' of policy proposals and, rather elegantly, settles on a plea for moderation.
This all sounds rather dense and abstract, but Fukuyama succeeds in his explaining his objections to identity politics with great clarity and concreteness. He does not lapse into the wilful obscurity that is the calling card of critical theorist of the left ... Nor is he unwilling to criticise a particular form of liberalism, known in America as neo-liberalism ... Fukuyama doesn't offer any particular solutions to liberalism’s crisis. He just assumes reason and moderation will ultimately prevail. He quotes Churchill’s aphorism that democracy is the worst form of government apart from all the rest. But perhaps we are beginning to realise, in Ukraine, that the defence of liberal democracy involves more than being reasonable.