Are Cycles In America’s History Predicting W.W.111?, by Dennis J. Foley
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Reedsy Discovery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As someone who is a particularly fond of cycles of history, it is fascinating to see the way that writers seek to argue for some sort of historical determinism based on those cycles. It should be noted that cycles of history and a cyclical view of history is by no means new. The book of Judges in the Bible has a clear cycle (although it is a negative spiral, it should be noted, rather than a mere cycle), and other cultures of history have had cyclical views, most notably the Chinese cycle of the Mandate of Heaven and the Mayan cycle that was hyped around 2012. Ultimately speaking, this book is more about the cycles of American history as a whole and the author’s desire to appear as a credible figure in talking about them than it is about the impending threat of World War III that is supposedly just around the corner. If I had to speculate, I would say that a second civil war is more likely than a third world war in the immediate term, but even that is certainly speculation that may not come to pass in the near future or (hopefully) at all.
Whether or not you think that the author has any particular expertise as an analyst of historical cycles, this book at least has interest as an attempt to view the history of the United States in a cyclical fashion that is built upon cycles within cycles of extroversion and introversion, rising conflict and releasing of tensions. In many ways this book parallels some of the author’s other works, and in some ways this book presents a contrary view to what the previous book had to say as the author has tightened up the cycles of the early 21st century to better match with what actually happened. This sort of post-hoc reasoning does indicate that the author’s specific timing can be taken with a very large grain of salt even for those who find the overall patterns to be interesting. Like everyone else who looks at the stories of the news and has an opinion about how things are going in the world, the author makes guesses and some of them come out better than others. It does not look like he has any sort of privileged insight about the future, except that like many people he looks at cycles of rise and fall in history and applies them to our own times and our own situation, which at least has some relevance even if the details are always tricky to fill in.