Below is an excerpt from a review I wrote for TGC.
In his famous Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln said the Civil War was a conflict that would test “whether a nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” could long endure. More than 150 years later, we’re once again seeking the answer to that question.
It’s no secret that American society is polarized and fractured. As we’ve moved further right and left, it seems many have lost sight of the ties that bind—those indispensable elements that created and shaped our common life. And all this leads to a single question: What kind of future awaits an increasingly fragmented society?
Enter Jonah Goldberg, who in his latest book, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy, attempts to wake us from our stupor in hopes of averting disaster. Goldberg—senior editor at National Review, fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, syndicated columnist, and frequent Fox News pundit—is one of America’s leading conservative intellectuals and a keen observer of politics and culture.
In the book, he musters wit and wisdom to make the case that our current trajectory is nothing short of an existential threat to the survival of Western society and that only a fundamental course correction might save us.
Goldberg writes in defense of a miracle, one he claims transformed the Western world. Using economics to illustrate this change, he argues that until the 18th century, poverty was a nearly universal human experience, but as a result of “the Miracle” humanity has taken a “quantum leap out of its natural environment of poverty” over the last 300 years (7).
Read the entire review here.