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The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's…
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The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of… (edição 2016)

por Yuval Levin (Autor)

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Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans -- and the politicians who represent them -- are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems. In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century -- as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society -- families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets.… (mais)
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Título:The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism
Autores:Yuval Levin (Autor)
Informação:Basic Books (2016), Edition: 1, 272 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:to-read

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The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism por Yuval Levin

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I'm giving this a 5, not because it was perfect (I want more citations, graphs, numbers ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I was super impressed with this book as a whole, as it coalesces a lot of things I've been thinking about lately. It starts off slowly, and I'm sure critiques can be made of the necessarily generalized narrative he gives in the earlier part of the book, but it gets steadily better as one goes on. If you find the "setting the table" chapters a bit dry, don't give up.

In short, Levin argues that partisan politics is hobbled by "competing nostalgias" that get in the way of productive policy debates. Most attempts to fix problems on a national scale prove unworkable because they look backward at an exceptionally consolidated period of U.S. history (mid-20th century), rather than reckoning with the diffuse, fractious society we inhabit today. To get around this roadblock, Levin believes we need to "empower a multiplicity of problem-solvers throughout our society, rather than hoping that one problem-solver in Washington gets it right" (5). In turn, this will demand renewal of the "middle layers," or mediating institutions, of society (neighborhoods, community and religious organizations, workplace and family) to halt the drift toward statism on one hand or excessive individualism on the other. I liked Levin's acknowledgment of the need for "epistemic humility" and experimentation, because we frankly don't know what solutions will be effective for dealing with, e.g., poverty, but we're more likely to find things that work on the face-to-face level (through a "modernized ethic of subsidiarity") than through programs that were designed for very different historical circumstances. He also suggests that the diversity and diffusion of contemporary America may be uniquely well suited to this kind of community-based search for solutions.

There is obviously a lot of work to be done before even getting to that point, and this rather sweeping, densely argued book isn't long on specifics; but I guess that's what National Affairs is for. This is one of the more refreshing, perceptive, and hopeful things I've read on politics this year, and I think it contains a lot that could be profitably discussed by people across the spectrum, not just those who'd identify as "reform conservatives." ( )
  LudieGrace | Aug 10, 2020 |
A phenomenal analysis of America's current political/social landscape. It was written and published before Trump was elected--yet in its way predicted the election and its aftermath. The other fantastic thing about this book is that the author both exposes his own biases and goes out of his way to make both sides are represented throughout. Sometimes the verbiage is dense, but it always is precise. Well worth the read, but it can be a slog at times. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
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Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans -- and the politicians who represent them -- are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems. In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century -- as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society -- families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets.

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