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In this controversial and groundbreaking new analysis, Michael Lind, one of America’s leading thinkers, debunks the idea that the insurgencies are primarily the result of bigotry, traces how the breakdown of mid-century class compromises between business and labor led to the conflict, and reveals the real battle lines.
On one side is the managerial overclass—the university-credentialed elite that clusters in high-income hubs and dominates government, the economy and the culture. On the other side is the working class of the low-density heartlands—mostly, but not exclusively, native and white.
The two classes clash over immigration, trade, the environment, and social values, and the managerial class has had the upper hand. As a result of the half-century decline of the institutions that once empowered the working class, power has shifted to the institutions the overclass controls: corporations, executive and judicial branches, universities, and the media.
The class war can resolve in one of three ways:
• The triumph of the overclass, resulting in a high-tech caste system.
• The empowerment of populist, resulting in no constructive reforms
• A class compromise that provides the working class with real power
Lind argues that Western democracies must incorporate working-class majorities of all races, ethnicities, and creeds into decision making in politics, the economy, and culture. Only this class compromise can avert a never-ending cycle of clashes between oligarchs and populists and save democracy.
In this groundbreaking reinterpretation of America's most disastrous and controversial war, Michael Lind demolishes the stale orthodoxies of the left and the right and puts the Vietnam War in its proper context -- as part of the global conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Cold War, he argues, was actually the third world war of the twentieth century, and the proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan were its major campaigns. Unwilling to engage each other in the heart of Europe, the superpowers played out their contest on the Asian front, while the rest of the world watched to see which side would retreat. As Lind shows, the Soviet Union and Communist China recognized the importance of Vietnam in this struggle and actively supported the North Vietnamese regime from its earliest days, a fact that was not lost on the strategic planners within the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.
Lind offers a provocative reassessment of why the United States failed in Vietnam despite the high stakes. The ultimate responsibility for defeat lies not with the civilian policy elite nor with the press but with the military establishment, which failed to adapt to the demands of what before 1968 had been largely a guerrilla war. The high costs of the military's misguided approach in American and Vietnamese lives sapped the support of the American people for the U.S. commitment to Indochina. Even worse, the costs of the war undermined American public support for the Cold War on all fronts. Lind masterfully lays bare the deep cultural divisions within the United States that made the Cold War consensus so fragile and shows why it broke apart so easily. The consequence of U.S. military failure was thus the forfeiture of Indochina, a resurgence of American isolationism, and a wave of Soviet imperial expansion checked only by the Second Cold War of the 1980s.
The New York Times has written of Michael Lind that he "defies the usual political categories of left and right, liberal and conservative." And in an era when the United States so often finds itself embroiled in prolonged and difficult conflicts -- in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq -- Lind offers a sobering cautionary tale to Americans of all political viewpoints.
A sweeping and original work of economic history by Michael Lind, one of America’s leading intellectuals, Land of Promise recounts the epic story of America’s rise to become the world’s dominant economy.
As ideological free marketers continue to square off against Keynesians in Congress and the press, economic policy remains at the center of political debate.
Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States offers a much-needed historical framework that sheds new light on our past—wisdom that offers lessons essential to our future. Building upon the strength and lucidity of his New York Times Notable Books The Next American Nation and Hamilton’s Republic, Lind delivers a necessary and revelatory examination of the roots of American prosperity—insight that will prove invaluable to anyone interested in exploring how we can move forward.
As this century comes to a close, debates over immigration policy, racial preferences, and multiculturalism challenge the consensus that formerly grounded our national culture. The question of our national identity is as urgent as it has ever been in our history. Is our society disintegrating into a collection of separate ethnic enclaves, or is there a way that we can forge a coherent, unified identity as we enter the 21st century?
In this "marvelously written, wide-ranging and thought-provoking"* book, Michael Lind provides a comprehensive revisionist view of the American past and offers a concrete proposal for nation-building reforms to strengthen the American future. He shows that the forces of nationalism and the ideal of a trans-racial melting pot need not be in conflict with each other, and he provides a practical agenda for a liberal nationalist revolution that would combine a new color-blind liberalism in civil rights with practical measures for reducing class-based barriers to racial integration.
A stimulating critique of every kind of orthodox opinion as well as a vision of a new "Trans-American" majority, The Next American Nation may forever change the way we think and talk about American identity.
*New York Newsday