American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time by Joshua Mitchell may be worth reading. Here’s a summary.
America seems to have gone mad. It still is the world’s richest and most powerful country, with the oldest continuous government on earth, yet it is in deep crisis and divided between hostile camps that reject each other’s legitimacy. Paradoxically, what made America strong also makes it inherently fragile. Joshua Mitchell, a professor of government at Georgetown University, presents a cogent diagnosis of America’s dark night of the soul in a remarkable new book that should be required reading for anyone who wants to make sense of today’s United States.
A Chinese acquaintance quips, “Now you are having your own Cultural Revolution.” In fact, the criticism and self-criticism sessions imposed on corporate employees and school personnel to root out hidden racism recall Mao’s Red Guards. But America is not China, and this is not a Cultural Revolution; it is an eruption of Christian religious feeling channeled into secular obsessions.
Asia Times’s review presents a somewhat jumbled but still compelling portrait. I may just pick this one up and report back in a while. If you’d like to beat me to it, check here.