Gretchen Hohmeyer's Reviews > The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin
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bookshelves: american-presidents-challenge

Despite the lack of a star rating, I did finish this book. However, I chose purposefully not to rate it. I am not a conservative, and thus I do not agree with many of Levin's social and cultural beliefs. I read this book knowing his positionality (and he states it quite clearly in the opening) as an act of reading across the aisle if you will. Also, I found myself wishing this book had been published even a year earlier, as much of Levin's critique of the Republican Party seems especially fraught in light of the Trump presidency. However, Levin critiques both liberals and conservatives in this work in some interesting ways. In particular, his critique of both parties and their obsession with selective nostalgia really felt like it hit the nose on the head. It felt like every time he would veer into conservative cultural values that I didn't agree with, the next paragraph would be a critique of the Republican Party or politics in general that kept me reading to see where else we might find common ground. However, this book also lacks much of any concrete suggestions for moving forward. This is an incredibly frustrating feature of many philosophical books in this vein (on both sides) that profess grand ideas but don't produce any ideas of how to actually make it work; indeed, Levin says that this work will be 'done by the next generation.' For all that Levin argues that the parties must stop looking to the past, the only actionable item that I got out of it was a return to small government with community action centered in the moral meccas of the Judeo-Christian church ... which felt quite nostalgic to me. I think this book is, however, in interesting conversation with The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened in that sense.

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Reading Progress

February 23, 2023 – Started Reading
February 23, 2023 – Shelved
February 23, 2023 – Shelved as: american-presidents-challenge
March 7, 2023 – Finished Reading

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