Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $30.42

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

William F. Buckley, Jr., perhaps best described the importance of this seminal work when he said, "James Burnham has written a book about Liberalism for which the world has been aching. It is worth more to the West than the year’s gross national product, more than all the planes and bombs…."

Through studious research into past civilizations, Burnham diagnoses the 20th century and finds it afflicted with destructive, even "suicidal" tendencies - all of which arise from the “Liberal syndrome” and its inherent applications.

The book explores several important questions, including why Liberalism clashes with Christianity and how Liberalism is a root cause of race riots and the rapid growth in crime. For James Burnham, who died in 1986, this book is certainly one of his greatest legacies.

©1985 1986 by James Burnham (P)1988 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This somber, brilliantly written book attempts to fix the blame for the suicidal ‘contraction of the West’ over the last fifty years upon Liberalism, chiefly in the United States…It is at the same time a venture into the philosophy of history and an indictment of those responsible for the present disastrous plight of once triumphant Western civilization." ( National Review)

More from the same

What listeners say about Suicide of the West

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 12-11-2012

The Future is Now!

What made the experience of listening to Suicide of the West the most enjoyable?

Suicide of the west should be looked at by Western Free market Libertarians as Nostradamus's quatrains. Look at the world events we see now, the collapse of European parliamentary democracy’s crumble under the weight of debt created by the liberal policies of social idealism.

What did you like best about this story?

The book was written in 1964 a year before I was born and this great book has been out there all this time. I glad I found it and thanks to Audible for having it.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for G.W.
  • G.W.
  • 19-11-2020

Woefully outdated and uncomfortable

As a conservative I found this painful to listen to and not at all prescient about the future. He has a few good points mixed in, but his repeated returns to racism as a conservative value are extremely uncomfortable and his fear that the Soviet Union would bury the West was long ago disproven. He seemed to believe the West was only strong when it had political and military control over a growing segment of the world. He fails to see that it is western ideology that is its strength and that as this spreads, the West continues to benefit. In the end, he wore the same blinders he accused the liberals of wearing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dan Greene
  • Dan Greene
  • 23-01-2018

A message from the past explaining why we are here

A must read if you want to understand why and how the US (and the West) is being destroyed by a demented ideology called Liberalism. Get it!!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Timothy M.
  • Timothy M.
  • 18-09-2020

amazing

the examples are dated but the themes are timeless
I enjoyed it greatly
I need 15 words

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jonathan Swan
  • Jonathan Swan
  • 06-10-2018

Cogent analysis of liberalism that remains relevant today.

Burnham’s Suicide of the West presents a cogent argument for liberalism as one of the expressions of the contraction (“suicide”) of the west. He presents his analysis of liberalism in its essential attitudes and beliefs from a variety of angles and with compelling prose.

While the book was written in 1964, it is still relevant in explaining the phenomenon of liberalism, what many would now call “leftist progressivism.” The present political situation in America is largely a result of the “liberal ideology” Burnham so expertly exposits in this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for I am No Expert
  • I am No Expert
  • 21-05-2018

A little dated, still very good ref. point

As the title mentions this is a very good reference point. However is a bit dated and needs to be updated with current examples. On the other side, this is one of the few factual documents about the left vs right discussions going on in the world.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nancy DeLaCruz
  • Nancy DeLaCruz
  • 24-02-2021

Phenomenal

The author describes the leftist/ liberal ideology in a tangible manner, which bestows upon the reader a clear lens to view contemporary phenomena.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katherine
  • Katherine
  • 11-02-2021

Militant Racism

We would not have to worry about WWIII any more if men with beliefs like this author infected our morals and ran our country we'd be fighting WWIV with sticks and stones.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ryan S.
  • Ryan S.
  • 11-02-2021

Excellent

Absolutely worth the time. Insightful and hits the. Arks briefly and fully. More books of this kind are needed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James Gabriel Vega
  • James Gabriel Vega
  • 20-10-2020

At the end

Eventually we will have to relearn how to use force again.

Our lack of conviction is killing us.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve
  • Steve
  • 10-05-2018

I cannot listen to anymore

The author's argument is one-sided and dubious. He creates a syndrome called the liberal syndrome, which has both left and right leaning tendencies. He blames the syndrome for giving all without calculation while at the same time restricting liberty and destroying foundations of value. He gives statements of fact which are either disputed, inaccurate or untrue. He did use examples which explained clearly how he saw ideology. This was terrible book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lars Panzerbjørn
  • Lars Panzerbjørn
  • 29-05-2018

Thoroughly dated and quite frankly, not very good

As others have pointed out, it is very one sided, and doesn't really seem to know where it is going. Should we be going left? Should we be going right?
Several assertions are easily disprovable, and laughable that they were asserted in the first place.

The performance of the narrator was top-notch though.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.