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12th August 2015

Alumnus publishes Cycles of Change

Martin Sieff (1969, Modern History) has published Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History, and the Coming Crises That Will Lead to the Fourth.

Martin Sieff tackles the challenge of reinterpreting the political patterns of US history over the past 220 years. America, he argues, has already gone through six eras of 32-40 years length, each of which was dominated by a particular set of political ideas, economic interests and charismatic leaders from a different region of the country. Each new leadership rose in response to a time of crisis and a set of challenges that had baffled the previous generation of leaders and ideas. Once the immediate challenges had been met, each set of leaders recast America in accordance with their ideas and it stayed that way for two generations, until a new wave of problems and challenges that could not be dealt with by the old answers came up.

Mr Sieff suggests that to view history through new frameworks is to transform it. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton turn out to have far more in common than either of them would have dared to admit. The now forgotten mass unionization of industrial workers in 1937-38 turns out to be an eerie precursor of the far more famous Civil Rights Movement a quarter century later.

To read more about Cycles of Change or to purchase the book click here.

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