My book was reviewed by Chris Tucker in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News. Here’s a snippet:
Brink Lindsey, a vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute, has written a wise, revealing book combining the long sweep of history with a documentarian’s eye for detail. Mr. Lindsey shows how contemporary America was born from the Industrial Revolution’s uniting of God and Mammon into “a single, world-transforming faith” known as the Protestant work ethic….
We’re not all Donald Trumps, and some of us do live in poverty, but no country in history has lifted more people into that realm of freedom than America has since World War II. This singular achievement, Mr. Lindsey argues, underlies everything we are today as more material freedom begets more social freedom in an apparently unstoppable cycle.
Meanwhile, historian Fred Siegel (author of the Giuliani bio The Prince of the City) discusses my book in the new issue of City Journal. He says some very nice things, but he concludes on this critical note:
Lindsey rightly emphasizes how affluence can soften some conflicts, but—as seen on the Internet daily—it can also provide a megaphone for ideologues to use politics as an outlet for their private passions.
While issues central to the 1960s, such as race, are far less salient today, the underlying dynamic remains unchanged. The “brights” of the “creative class” think that they need to rule as a matter of professional responsibility. An irreconcilable tension exists between those whose expertise gives them a sense of earned superiority and small-business people who cater to what people actually want. In the period ahead, that conflict is sure to be posed in environmental terms, as the public hears that it must submit to technocratic mandates to save the planet. It’s hard to see how we’ll compromise over these tensions, let alone agree on Lindsey’s libertarian version of political truth. Notwithstanding Lindsey’s logic of history—like Fukuyama’s before him—we should expect shocks ahead.