NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR & PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
Contact

How we got here, the stakes and where we go now (in Washington Monthly)

The United States, which was a state before it came up with an argument for being a nation as well, has always been vulnerable to dissolution. An accidental alliance of stateless nations — the regional cultures described in American Nations — it had to invent a national story to paper over the massive (and enduring) differences between its component sections (a story told in Union.)

As the social contract our liberal democratic system relies on has been weakened by decades of drift into more extreme forms of individual liberty — the story told in American Character — it’s now under direct attack again by authoritarian ethnonationalism. It threatens to destroy both the federation and the republic.

How did this happen? What is the nature of the problem? How do we respond to reverse the damage. My thoughts laid out in the new issue of Washington Monthly, written in early December when we were already trundling toward the attempted coup on January 6. 

For more, please consider the three books of the American Nations trilogy, starting with Union.

Thanks to Real Clear Politics for plugging the article earlier this week and to Monthly editors Paul Glastis and Daniel Block for their suggestions and improvements to the piece.

My last print edition story for Washington Monthly was this review of John Keane’s The New Despotism.