History Has Begun
The Birth of a New America
What if America hasn’t yet peaked? What if a new America has only just begun?
Popular consensus says that the US rose over 150 years to Cold War victory and world domination, and is now in slow decline. But is this right? History’s great civilisations have always lasted much longer, and for all its colossal power, the US was overshadowed by Europe for its first two centuries. What if this isn’t the end?
Bruno Maçães offers a compelling vision of America’s future, both fascinating and unnerving. From the early American Republic, Maçães takes us to the turbulent present, when, he argues, America is finally forging its own path. We can see the birth pangs of this new civilisation in today’s debates on guns, religion, foreign policy and the significance of Trump. What will its values be, and what will this new America look like?
Bruno Maçães is a non-resident senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a senior advisor at Flint Global and a senior fellow at Renmin university in China. Formerly Portugal’s Europe minister (2013–15), he has been a regular commentator for CNN, the BBC and Al Jazeera, and has written for the Financial Times, The Guardian and Foreign Affairs. He is the author of History Has Begun (forthcoming) and Belt and Road (2018), both published by Hurst, and The Dawn of Eurasia. He lives in Istanbul.
‘This insightful book makes bold and counterintuitive arguments. The international system is poised for the flourishing of cultural and political diversity among nation states. At the same time, this can and should be another American Century. This round requires the United States creatively to remake itself inside and out.’ — Kiron K. Skinner, Former Director of the Office of Policy Planning, Department of State
‘As a kind of counterpoint to his insightful books on the rise of Eurasia and China’s One Belt One Road initiative, Bruno Maçães has written an absorbing, ruminative essay on the United States. Whereas his exploration of Eurasia was a true journey over that vast landmass, here he encounters America in his library and his imagination. This is the view from Europe, even when Maçães is disagreeing with the most famous of all European commentators on the United States, Tocqueville. But—unlike many European commentators today—he is ultimately an optimist about the American future. Between Europe, oppressed by history, and China, intoxicated by technology, the United States still offers some hope of reconciling power and liberty.’ — Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and author of Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire and The Square and the Tower
‘The future never matches the conventional wisdom. Bruno Maçães gives us the special gift of charting a future for the United States and the world that may be very different, and quite possibly much better, than what we expect.’ — Marc Andreessen, entrepreneur, investor and cofounder of Netscape
‘Bruno Maçães has written an erudite, thought-provoking exploration of how the world is affected by a post-truth America, an America where the line between reality and entertainment is no longer discernible, and where the hallowed concept of the “West” is losing its meaning.’ — Yaroslav Trofimov, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Wall Street Journal