(K. Brent Tomer),
The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. By John Judis. Columbia Global Reports; 182 pages; $12.99 and £8.99.
POPULISM has already upended the politics of the West. Americans have elected a president who has described NATO as “obsolete” and accused China of ripping off their country. Europe’s second-largest economy, Britain, is preparing to leave the European Union (EU). But the populist revolution still has a long way to go. The far-right Sweden Democrats have been near the top of polls in a country that is synonymous with bland consensus. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, a party that wants to take France out of the euro and hold a referendum on France’s membership of the EU, is a shoo-in for the final round of the presidential election.
The Western intelligentsia, snug in its echo-chamber, has done a dismal job of understanding what is going on, either dismissing populists as cranks or demonising them as racists. John Judis, an American author and journalist, is an admirable exception. “The Populist Explosion” is an extended…Continue reading