Mark Mazower is the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler’s Empire and The Balkans: A Short History, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History, among other books. He lives in New York City.
A majestic narrative reckoning with the forces that have shaped the nature and destiny of the world’s governing institutions
The story of global cooperation is a tale of dreamers goading us to find common cause in remedying humanity’s worst problems. But international institutions are also tools for the powers that be to advance their own interests. Mark Mazower’s Governing the World tells the epic, two-hundred-year story of that inevitable tensionthe unstable and often surprising alchemy between ideas and power. From the rubble of the Napoleonic empire in the nineteenth century through the birth of the League of Nations and the United Nations in the twentieth century to the dominance of global finance at the turn of the millennium, Mazower masterfully explores the current era of international life as Western dominance wanes and a new global balance of powers emerges.
A Financial Times Best Politics Book of 2012
“A splendid account…highly compelling.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Impressive…a significant contribution to historical scholarship… Simply for giving us this lucid account, Mazower deserves our gratitude. But Governing the World is also an intriguing read because of the strong argument he places within it: that it may be that this grand idea, with all its variants, is coming to an end.”—Paul Kennedy, Financial Times
“Fascinating…A well-articulated, meticulously supported study.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Mark Mazower has strengthened his claim to be the preeminent historian of a generation…On rare occasions, a work of history emerges that not only fundamentally refashions our understanding of the past, it enables us to reassess the present and, with luck, influence our future. I advise everyone who is concerned about our precarious situation to learn from and absorb Mazower’s remarkable achievement.”—Misha Glenny
“A dramatic, novel account of ideas and institutions in collision with hard realities. Indispensable also for its full and subtle account of American policies since 1917, always with a fine touch for the hitherto neglected person or little noticed moment that illuminates historic processes. Profound, relevant, and morally instructive—and a pleasure to read.”—Fritz Stern