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New Left Review I/193, May-June 1992

Fred Halliday

An Encounter with Fukuyama

In conversation after a television discussion of his The End of History and the Last Man, [1] Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, Hamish Hamilton, London 1992, £17.99 hbk; The Free Press, New York 1992, $24.95 hbk. an occasion somewhat deviated by the interventions of a bibulous Labour dignitary, Francis Fukuyama revealed that his maternal grandfather had studied in Germany under Werner Sombart. The grandfather had subsequently purchased Sombart’s library and taken it back to Japan. ‘One day,’ Fukuyama said, ‘I shall inherit a first edition of Marx’s Das Kapital.’ Fukuyama is far from being a Marxist, but his work raises many questions of interest and challenge to historical materialism and is lacking in the standard reflexes of academic anti-communism: his treatment of Marx, as of others such as Hobbes, Hegel and Nietzsche, while at times idiosyncratic, encourages reconsideration.

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