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Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order

Tuesday July 2015

The United States has been transformed by three internal political revolutions: Jefferson’s “revolution of 1800,” the Civil War, and the New Deal. Each concluded with lasting institutional and cultural adjustments that set the stage for a new phase of political and economic development.

The U.S. is on the verge of another upheaval, a fourth revolution, argues James Piereson, MI senior fellow and Simon Foundation president, in his magisterial new book Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Postwar Political Order. Mounting public debt, retiring baby boomers, and slow economic growth will soon require profound changes in the role of government in American life. Can serious reform, Piereson asks, be achieved in the face of the widening political gulf and entrenched special interests?

Shattered Consensus explains why America is not destined to join Greece and other failed welfare states on the road to insolvency—and how it can return, instead, to its historical path of dynamism and prosperity. “This collection…secures Piereson’s place among America’s leading conservative intellectuals and cultural critics” (George Will). “[O]ne of the most thought-provoking volumes I’ve read in a long time” (William Kristol). “A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the 2016 election campaign” (Amity Shlaes).