The Year When Our World Began
In 1979, there were crises around the world, revolutions and euphoric new beginnings. The Iranian revolution, Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberalism and the opening up of China changed everything; so did the admission of Vietnamese ‘Boat people’ to Western Societies, Harrisburg’s nuclear power plant accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Frank Bösch takes us on a journey to the origins of our present time.
Peter Sloterdijk has called 1979 the ‘key date of our century’ and Claus Leggewie makes it the ‘beginning of today’s multipolar world.’ The Iranian Revolution brought fundamentalist Islam onto the world stage, while the invasion of Afghanistan points ahead to areas of crisis for the twentyfirst century. The visit of the pope to Poland, celebrated by millions, sped up the demise of socialism. Thatcher declared neoliberal change; the newly founded Green Party in Germany demanded ecological transformation. And the Vietnamese Boat People confronted Germans for the first time with a world-wide movement of refugees. On the basis of hitherto unknown documents, Bösch constructs a brilliant panaroma of the events of 1979 and their consequences for the world: politically, culturally, and – with campaigns to save energy, coffee from Nicaragua, xenophobia as well as the culture of welcome – for everyday life.
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