Francis Fukuyama /
Free Press /
Over the past fifty years, the United States and other developed countries have made the transformation from industrial to information societies; knowledge has replaced mass production as the basis of wealth, power, and social interaction. At the same time, Western societies have endured increasing levels of crime, massive changes in fertility and family structure, decreasing levels of trust, and the triumph of individualism over community. Just as the Industrial Revolution brought about momentous changes in society's moral values, a similar "Great Disruption" during the last half of the twentieth century has caused profound changes in our social structure today. Even though the once stable order of the industrial age has broken apart, a new social order is already under construction. In his masterful tour de force, Francis Fukuyama offers a surprising answer to the questions, where does social order come from? And, once lost, can it be restored? Governments and organized religion, he discovers, do not impose social order. Instead it is the natural outcome of the human biological drive to establish moral values. He shows that the Great Disruption of the 1960s and 1970s is giving way to a Great Reconstruction, as Western society weaves a new fabric of social and moral values appropriate to the changed realities of the post-industrial world.