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The great synthesiser

Anthony Dworkin applauds the ambition of Francis Fukuyama's three synoptic books on the end of history, social capital and human nature, but finds them all wanting

By Anthony Dworkin   July 1999

Ten years ago, in the summer of 1989, a short article under the byline of Francis Fukuyama appeared in the neo-conservative American journal, the National Interest. At the time, few outside the world of Washington policy analysis would have been familiar with the author-a mid-level state department official and expert on Soviet relations with the third world. But almost overnight, the article transformed him into one of the most talked-about intellectuals in the US. It was titled “The End of History?” and proposed that liberal democratic capitalism had been established as the ultimate form of organisation for human society.

Fukuyama’s…

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