The Six Questions

by Roger Alford

In order to get our readers thinking about Mead’s book, let me highlight the key questions he seeks to answer in his book. These questions are, in Mead’s view, the “six key questions about the world we live in” (p. 12):

1. What is the distinctive political and cultural agenda that the Anglo-Americans bring to world politics?

2. Why did the Anglo-Americans prevail in the military, economic, and political contests to shape the emerging world order?

3. How were the Anglo-Americans able to put together the economic and military resources that enabled them to defeat their enemies and build a global order?

4. Why have the Anglo-Americans so frequently believed that history is ending–that their power is bringing about a peaceful world?

5. Why have they been wrong every time?

6. What does Anglo-American power mean for the world? How long is it likely to last, and what does three hundred years of Anglo-American power mean for the larger sweep of world history?

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