1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century
By Christian Caryl
(Basic Books (AZ), Hardcover, 9780465018383, 432pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
List Price: $28.99*
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After World War II, a secular, progressive consensus defined the international order. That changed in 1979, when a series of counterrevolutions swept the globe, blazing a path for a new era. China launched reforms that would make it the economic powerhouse it is today. Pope John Paul II traveled to Poland, challenging communism in Eastern Europe by reigniting its people’s suppressed Catholic faith. An Islamic revolution transformed Iran into a theocracy almost overnight, while the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan gave rise to that country’s mujahedin resistance, the precursor to al-Qaeda. Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, returning Britain to a purer form of free-market capitalismand inspiring Ronald Reagan to do the same.
Weaving these stories into a brisk and gripping narrative, award-winning journalist Christian Caryl’s Strange Rebels offers a groundbreaking explanation of the year that set the course for the twenty-first century.