Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy

Crown Forum. Apr. 2018. 464p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781101904930. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101904947. POL SCI
OrangeReviewStarIn this provocative work, Goldberg (Liberal Fascism) challenges tribalism on the left but also that which is growing in his own conservative party. The author alleges that human nature is a constant, and this assertion is the basis for his defense of the American political structure and traditional conservative values. Goldberg's points combine philosophy, historical analysis, and pop culture references. His thesis is less concerned with the external factors that led to the current political climate and more focused on the innate human qualities—specifically tribalism—that might lead us toward destruction over millennia. This is not a passive conclusion: Goldberg starts with the assumption of free will and personal choice, both of which contribute to the state of worldly affairs. There is no "right side of history" because nothing is foreordained; decline is a choice. The challenge at the heart of this work is that we collectively chose to be where we are today and can choose to fight against it. According to Goldberg, polarization and tribalism plague both left and right parties, and both are responsible for a rotting democracy in the West.
VERDICT Progressives and conservatives will have their disputes with this book, but the conversations are well worth having.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month