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The Empire and the Five Kings
One of the West’s leading intellectuals offers a provocative look at America’s withdrawal from world leadership and the rising powers who seek to fill the vacuum left behind.The United States was once the hope of the world, a beacon of freedom and the defender of liberal democracy. Nations and peoples on all continents looked to America to stand up for the values that created the Western world and to oppose autocracy and repression. Even when America did not live up to its ideals, it still recognized their importance, at home and abroad.But as Bernard-Henri Lévy lays bare in this powerful and disturbing analysis of the world today, America is retreating from its traditional leadership role, and in its place have come five ambitious powers, former empires eager to assert their primacy and influence. Lévy shows how these five - Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and Sunni radical Islamism - are taking steps to undermine the liberal values that have been a hallmark of Western civilization.The Empire and the Five Kings is a cri de coeur that draws upon lessons from history and the eternal touchstones of human culture to reveal the stakes facing the West as America retreats from its leadership role, a process that did not begin with Donald Trump's presidency and is not likely to end with him. The crisis is one whose roots can be found as far back as antiquity and whose resolution will require the West to find a new way forward if its principles and values are to survive.
The Genius of Judaism
For more than four decades, Bernard-Henri Lévy has been a singular figure on the world stage - one of the great moral voices of our time. Now Europe's foremost philosopher and activist confronts his spiritual roots and the religion that has always inspired and shaped him - but that he has never fully reckoned with.The Genius of Judaism is a breathtaking new vision and understanding of what it means to be a Jew, a vision quite different from the one we’re used to. It is rooted in the Talmudic traditions of argument and conflict, rather than biblical commandments, borne out in struggle and study, not in blind observance. At the very heart of the matter is an obligation to the other, to the dispossessed, and to the forgotten, an obligation that, as Lévy vividly recounts, he has sought to embody over decades of championing “lost causes,” from Bosnia to Africa’s forgotten wars, from Libya to the Kurdish Peshmerga’s desperate fight against the Islamic State, a battle raging as we speak. Lévy offers a fresh, surprising critique of a new and stealthy form of anti-Semitism on the rise as well as a provocative defense of Israel from the left. He reveals the overlooked Jewish roots of Western democratic ideals and confronts the current Islamist threat while intellectually dismantling it. Jews are not a “chosen people,” Lévy explains, but a “treasure” whose spirit must continue to inform moral thinking and courage today.Lévy’s most passionate book, and in many ways his most personal, The Genius of Judaism is a great, profound, and hypnotic intellectual reckoning—indeed a call to arms - by one of the keenest and most insightful writers in the world.
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