Xose M. Núñez Seixas, Las Utopías pendientes. Una breve historia del mundo desde 1945, Crítica, Barcelona, 2015, 383 pp.
Clearly the turbulent years in which we live requires us corresponds to rethink the look back. Historians such as Tony Judt helped us globally reread a world in which a quarter of a century, the Cold War ended and forces us to redefine a new historical account. The great global crisis of 2008 has prompted historians to make new readings of the past and the present. Some have resulted in brilliant analysis, as has recently published Josep Fontana, revising old historical paradigms. Other views on the crisis of nation states and the role of the West in modern history (John Darwin), the reasons for the failure of the company (Daren Acemoglou and James Robinson), a return to the logic of geopolitics as an engine of conflict in international relations (Robert D. Kaplan and Mark Marzower), or the social, moral and political globalization processes (Naomi Klein) consequences force us to analyze the past in new ways. Because, you know, look at the past is often a formula to try to understand the present.
In a newly published book by the summer, Xosé M. Núñez Seixas (Ourense, 1966), proposes a new reading of the years since the end of World War II. In line with points coinciding with the recent work of Fontana, Galician historian presents the recent past as a dynamic succession of successes and failures (particularly failures) of the past seventy years of history. Núñez Seixas, one of the most brilliant historians of my generation, located on the outskirts of the (certainly more interesting than the official) Spanish historiography, presents a comprehensive analysis from core issues of contemporaneity: The Rise and fall of the welfare state, the conflict between history and memory, return to the question of nationalism as the core of the historiographical debates, the lights and shadows of emancipation (?) women, the ecological question, the tensions between civilizations, or the divergent evolution of the various geographical areas of an increasingly multipolar world. All this, with (although often with excessive political correctness) brilliant academic rigor.
Especially useful is bright and the last part, where the author addresses the immediate history from the court which is the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the subsequent chaos and disorder. Chaos and disorder closely binding to the hegemony of neoliberal paradigm and its dramatic (and ambiguous) consequences. Perhaps here, shyness, just being overly cautious and telegraph. However, all this makes me think that the next university textbooks on contemporary history should set 1989 as the starting date.
It was a summer reading, but there is nothing light reading. As with good historians, it is a well written and documented work, and proposes several avenues to explore. It is a work of international projection in a world that, at least intellectually and academically, is increasingly interconnected. A good guide for approaching the chaotic world left by the end of the cold war.