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How constructions of time shape political beliefs about what is possible--and what is inevitable To secure power in a crisis, leaders must sell deep change as a means to future good. But how could we know the future? Nomi Claire Lazar draws on stories across a range of cultures and contexts, ancient and modern, to show how leaders use constructions of time to frame events. These frames carry an implicit promise to secure or subvert an expected future, shaping belief in what is possible--and what is inevitable. "Ranging imaginatively across history and geography, this elegant book probes temporal sources of order and transformation. Its analytical wisdom discloses how calendars and representations of time shape political legitimacy, dispositions, and action."--Ira I. Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time "Great political leaders, for good or ill, seek to shape our daily lives by playing with time itself. That is the central insight of this elegant, erudite volume, one that means I will henceforth listen to speeches and manifestos with new ears and new tools to rebut them."--Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America "Nomi Lazar gives us a fascinating exploration of the political construction of time itself, as structured by calendars, dating systems, and other mechanisms used for legitimation, revolution, and a myriad of other political purposes. A memorable and endlessly interesting book."--Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law School