In March 2005, President George W. Bush proclaimed, “Freedom is on the march.” Ever since, it has been in retreat. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017), Edward Luce, a correspondent for The Financial Times, seeks to explain why. Across the Atlantic, in Europe and America, Luce traces the decline of the West’s middle classes, the dysfunction among its political and economic elites and the consequences for America and the world. Luce’s project is to explain what the recent dark turn in Western politics — the rise of ultra-nationalism, populist demagoguery, cultural insularity, and social unrest — has to do with global economics. It’s a story of trade balances and technological disruption, but also a withering dismantling of Western liberalism’s faith in progress. What is the future of Western liberal democracy? How did it get into its current mess, and how will those origins shape its forthcoming evolution? This short volume is a good place for us to start grappling with those questions.