Fukuyama: ca­reer in brief

The Observer - The New Review - - Interview -

1952 Born in Chicago to a sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Ja­panese-Amer­i­can fa­ther and Ja­panese mother. Brought up in Man­hat­tan.

1974 Stud­ies clas­sics at Cor­nell Univer­sity, then com­par­a­tive lit­er­a­ture at Yale, with six months in Paris un­der Roland Barthes and Jac­ques Der­rida. Later re­ceives a PhD in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence from Har­vard Univer­sity with a the­sis on the Soviet Union’s threat of in­ter­ven­tion in the Mid­dle East.

1981 Re­cruited into Ron­ald Rea­gan’s US state depart­ment by Paul Wol­fowitz, help­ing to shape for­eign pol­icy; later re­joins dur­ing Ge­orge Bush se­nior’s pres­i­dency.

1992 First ma­jor work, The End of His­tory and the Last Man, is met with great ac­claim. He ar­gues in it that the ide­o­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion of hu­mankind is over, with western lib­eral democ­racy as the vic­tor. 1995 Looks at eco­nomic sys­tems around the world in sec­ond book Trust.

2002 Ar­gues in his book Our Posthu­man Fu­ture: Con­se­quences of the Biotech­nol­ogy Revo­lu­tion for more reg­u­la­tion of biotech­nol­ogy.

2005 Helps found bi-montly mag­a­zine the Amer­i­can In­ter­est. Later be­comes chair­man of the edi­to­rial board.

2006 Dis­tances him­self from neo­con­ser­vatism in Amer­ica at the Cross­roads, in which he crit­i­cises Ge­orge W Bush and the Iraq war. Two years later, he en­dorses Barack Obama for pres­i­dent be­cause of the mis­takes of the Bush govern­ment.

2011 Dis­cusses the sta­bil­ity of the state in The Ori­gins of Po­lit­i­cal Or­der. Fol­lows this with Po­lit­i­cal Or­der and Po­lit­i­cal De­cay in 2014. 2018 Pub­lishes his new work, Iden­tity: Con­tem­po­rary Iden­tity Pol­i­tics and the Strug­gle for Recog­ni­tion.

He says: “What is hap­pen­ing in the pol­i­tics of the United States par­tic­u­larly, but I also think in other coun­tries, is that iden­tity in a form of na­tion­al­ity or eth­nic­ity or race has be­come a proxy for class.” (Open Democ­racy, Jan 2017)

They say: “A fas­ci­nat­ing his­tor­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal set­ting for the 21st cen­tury.” Tom Wolfe on The End of His­tory and the Last Man.

Andrew Young

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