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Death by suicide?

Division as a default setting in America
by
July 2024, no. 466

The Forever War: America’s unending conflict with itself by Nick Bryant

Viking $36.99 pb, 416 pp

Death by suicide?

Division as a default setting in America
by
July 2024, no. 466

It was a young Abraham Lincoln’s prediction that the United States ‘must live through all time, or die by suicide’. Nick Bryant wants us to believe the latter is coming true. America has been popping pills from the very beginning. Now the fatal overdose is inevitable. This time, we are reaching an ‘extreme polarization … 250 years in the making … a second civil war’. Rather than the hysteria for and against Donald Trump being an aberration, ‘the hate, divisiveness and paranoia we see today,’ Bryant argues, ‘are in fact a core part of America’s story’. It has been on this path since 1776; Trump is less a waypoint than a destination.

The Forever War: America’s unending conflict with itself

The Forever War: America’s unending conflict with itself

by Nick Bryant

Viking $36.99 pb, 416 pp

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Comment (1)

  • Granted that each unhappy family is unique in its particular form of suffering, most democracies are more or less on this trajectory. As Plato wrote, 'And above all, and as a result of all, see how sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority and at length, as you know, they cease to care even for the laws.' No one imagines for a moment that were Donald Trump to be set aside the void would remain for very long.
    Posted by Patrick Hockey
    28 June 2024

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