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The End of American Exceptionalism?

Monday 30 October, 6.30 pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, Houghton Street, London WC2

Commentator: George Walden MP
Chair: Richard Sennett, LSE

On (almost) the eve of the American presidential elections, the distinguished political scientist and sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset will give his first public lecture in five years in the UK at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Drawing on his latest book, It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the US , co-written with Gary Marks, Lipset will explore the shifts on the political maps of the US and European countries.

The Third Way signals the possible end of American political exceptionalism. The United States is now no longer represented in the Socialist International by the minuscule American Socialist Party, but by the Democratic Party. Marx predicted in Das Kapital that the most developed nation, namely the US, would show to the less developed the image of their (political) future. It has. As a city banker said after the last British elections, it is no longer capitalists versus socialists, it is now Democrats against Republicans.


For more information about the lecture contact Judith Higgin at LSE on 020 7955 7582 or email j.a.higgin@lse.ac.uk|

For more information about the book or to arrange an interview contact Ariadne van de Ven at Norton on 020 7323 1579 ariadne@wwnorton.co.uk|

Notes for editors

  • Seymour Martin Lipset is the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. He has just been awarded the Lifetime Career Award from the American Sociological Association.
  • It Didn't Happen Here: Why socialism failed in the US was published in July 2000. It is a history full of ironies, missed opportunities, and personality and ideology clashes. This debate-provoking analysis has had a great deal of coverage on both sides of the Atlantic. European commentators have also used the book as a way to examine the shifting political ground on this side of the Atlantic. LSE's Professor Richard Sennett, reviewing the book for the TLS, praised it as "intelligent, filled with new information and, just as it should be, highly partisan."

30 October 2000