The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution

In This Review

The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution

By Michael Lind
The Free Press, 1995
415 pp. $22.95

Lind, a senior editor at The New Republic, is a rising young intellectual. His book is an extraordinary performance, breathtaking in its audacity, combining an original reinterpretation of American history with a double-barreled attack on New Left and New Right. He is equally contemptuous of affirmative action and of the oligarchical privileges of the "white overclass," whose ideal, he writes, "is not the city on a hill, but the mansion behind a wall." He warns of the "Brazilianization" of American society--a "high-tech feudal anarchy featuring an archipelago of privileged whites in an ocean of white, black, and brown poverty"--a future that would be hastened by the program of the conservative anti-statists now in control of Congress (and to which, in Lind's view, continuing high levels of immigration and free trade with low-wage economies make a vital contribution). Lind's diagnoses are more convincing than his remedies--protectionism and "maximum feasible paternalism"--but there is no denying the utter brilliance with which, like Sherman marching to the sea, he rains fire on his ideological adversaries (a motley collection of nativists, plutocrats, democratic universalists, free-trade globalists, and multiculturalists). This fevered and incendiary manifesto promises to reshape our understanding of American politics.

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