First on the White House agenda the collapse of the global order. Next, war? | Jonathan Freedland

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Trumps allies yearn to wreck alliances that have kept the peace for decades. Progressives must preserve them

Donald Trump doesnt read books. He leaves that to his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, the man rapidly emerging as the true power behind the gaudy Trump throne. Given Bannons influence he is the innermost member of the presidents inner circle and will have a permanent seat on the National Security Council, a privilege Trump has denied the head of the US military its worth taking a good look atthe books on his bedside table.

Close to the top of the pile, according to this weeks Time magazine, is a book called The Fourth Turning, which arguesthat human history moves in 80- to 100-year cycles, each one climaxing in a violent cataclysm that destroys the old order and replaces it with somethingnew. For the US, there have been three such upheavals: the founding revolutionary war that ended in 1783, the civil war of the 1860s and the second world war of the 1940s. According to the book, America is on thebrink of another.

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