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Jun 09

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

A book event

Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, our culture feels like it’s coming apart, and our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. No wonder, then, that Americans are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the 1960s with its regulated economy and social liberalization and the Right to the Reagan Era when the economy was set loose 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 21st Century Americans, as both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century. The large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. The dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. And, Levin argues, conservatives may be uniquely positioned to advance such a decentralized agenda.

Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the founding Editor of National Affairs. He is the author of The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Left and Right and of numerous essays and articles.

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Yuval Levin
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Hosted By

David Azerrad, Ph.D. David Azerrad, Ph.D.

Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics and AWC Family Foundation Fellow Read More