The divisive presidential campaign of 2016 played into the narrative that American society has become harsher and less cohesive. This is a real trend, decades in the making, argues political commentator Yuval Levin in this intriguing rumination on mid-20th century postwar America. He asserts that Americans misinterpret the prosperity of the 1950s as a golden age that they should aspire to revisit. Instead, Levin posits, the postwar years were essentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for economic growth that America seized when it happened, but that no longer exists. Levin doesn’t break new ground. Instead, he mines well-trod turf to come up with a new theory for what ails American society and politics. His historical analysis is astute, but Levin’s solutions for fixing a fractured society are frustratingly vague. Intriguingly, his study, published in May 2016, includes not a single mention of Donald Trump, the candidate who capitalized on many of the trends Levin describes. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this insightful study to readers of all political stripes.
In this summary, you will learn
- How nostalgia colors American political thought,
- How US society fragmented and
- How this fragmentation plays out in the economy and society.
About the Author
A White House staffer under President George W. Bush, Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the founder and editor of National Affairs.