Top positive review
Review of Mark Levin's Rediscovering Americanism and The Tyranny of Progressivism
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2017
Mark Levin, the author of this book, is one of the leading voices on right-wing talk radio. However, he is distinguished from his main competitors Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, by the fact that his programs (both radio and TV) go far beyond mere discussions of current events and delve into the ideas that underlie the issues of the day and the debates of the moment.
Thus, on his programs one can hear (and in this book, read) in-depth discussions of such subjects as individualism and collectivism, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx, Adam Smith, and F.A. Hayek. These discussions not only shed important light on the events and disputes of the moment, but sometimes offer startling insight that illuminates a broad swath of human history. First and foremost in this category is a discussion drawn from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in which Smith essentially explains the difference in attitudes between a statesman and a tyrant.
A major value that this book provides is the understanding it gives of the intellectual transformation that occurred in American political philosophy during the 19th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, the country went to sleep with Washington and Jefferson as its leading political figures and the Constitution and Bill of Rights as its leading political documents. By the early 20th century, it woke up with Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as its leading political figures and the Constitution and Bill of Rights pushed to the side and no longer taken seriously or considered binding by the country's intellectuals. The new political philosophy that had emerged was “progressivism,” a combination of collectivism, egalitarianism, and contempt for the notion of immutable truths. The country has not yet recovered.
I recommend this book to everyone who wants to improve his understanding of where we are intellectually and how we got here.
George Reisman, Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics