Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation

David French. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-20197-3
The Dispatch writer French (coauthor, The Rise of ISIS) laments conspiracy-minded rhetoric from both the right and the left in this incisive examination of contemporary political polarization. A longtime conservative commentator and pro-life advocate who now claims that he’s “a man without a party,” French castigates both Republicans and Democrats for advancing political and cultural narratives portraying their opponents as not merely wrong but evil, authoritarian, and a threat to American society. He calls for a new political consensus built around unifying ideals that have historically served to shape public discourse, including an embrace of Madisonian pluralism (“a broad diversity of interests and groups across a federal union helps prevent any one interest or group attain dangerous dominance”); a belief that tolerance of divergent opinions is a political virtue; and a regrounding in the Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights. French enriches his political and historical analysis with reflections on his 2007 deployment to Iraq as an Army Reserve captain and the harassment of his wife and adopted Ethiopian daughter by alt-right trolls. This well-informed and often moving account provides an antidote to the ills of political partisanship. (Sept.)

Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the name of the publication the author writes for.

Reviewed on : 06/05/2020
Release date: 09/22/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-24026-2
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