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How Has the World Lost Its Way? Amin Maalouf

Festival of Ideas
Amin Maalouf

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World-renowned scholar Amin Maalouf uses his own intellectual and political autobiography to trace how civilisations have drifted apart throughout the twentieth century.

The United States is losing its moral credibility. The European Union is breaking apart. Africa, the Arab world, and the Mediterranean are becoming battlefields for various regional and global powers. Extreme forms of nationalism are on the rise. Thus divided, humanity is unable to address global threats to the environment and our health. How did we get here and what is yet to come?

Maalouf seeks to raise awareness and pursue a new human solidarity, mixing personal narrative and historical analysis to provide a warning signal for the future.

In conversation with Margaret Heffernan.

Amin Maalouf book jacket

Amin Maalouf’s Adrift: How Our World Lost Its Way is published by World Editions. Buy a copy from Waterstones, our bookselling partners.

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Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan produced programmes for the BBC for 13 years. She then moved to the US where she spearheaded multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard&Poors. She was Chief Executive of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and then iCast Corporation. Her third book, Willful Blindness was named one of the most important business books of the decade by the Financial Times. In 2015, she was awarded the Transmission Prize for A Bigger Prize. Her TED talks have been seen by over nine million people and in 2015 TED published Beyond Measure. She is Lead Faculty for the Forward Institute’s Responsible Leadership Programme and, through Merryck & Co, mentors CEOs and senior executives of major global organisations. Her most recent book, Uncharted, was published in 2020.

Amin Maalouf

Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut in 1949. He studied economics and sociology, then worked as a reporter for the newspaper Annahar until the Lebanese Civil War broke out. He moved to Paris with his family in 1976, where he became editor in chief for the news magazine Jeune Afrique. He published his first book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, in 1983. Ten years later, The Rock of Tanios, his fifth novel, won the Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious literary award in France. In 2010, he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature for his work. In 2016 he was designated Cultural Personality of the Year by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. He was elected to the Académie française in 2011. His books have been translated into fifty languages. Adrift: How Our World Lost Its Way is his latest and is translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

Image Credit: JF PAGA Grasset

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