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Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Paperback – June 5, 2012
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“Buchanan is an honest writer who … minces nothing except an occasional opponent.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Nobody turns a sharp phrase, drops an historical reference, or makes a literary allusion as naturally as Pat Buchanan.” ―Human Events
“Buchanan is a muscular writer, fully in command of the English language he feels is under siege. He is adept at linking history, statistics, and the writings of philosophers and economists to proffer forceful arguments.” ―The Washington Post
“Mr. Buchanan … is positively fearless. He is also right.” ―Tony Blankley, The Washington Times
“His approach is that of a true conservative, offering a perspective rooted in American tradition initiated by Washington.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Suicide of a Superpower traces the changes in governance and culture in America that foreshadow a decline of epic proportions. ... Buchanan is no stranger to controversy. Nor is he prone to exaggerate. The crises he describes are real, and he is not afraid to say they ‘may prove too much for our democracy to cope with.'” ―Jack Kenny, The New American Magazine
“A stunning Jeremiad on America's decline, written with characteristic muscle and wit.” ―Timothy Stanley, The Telegraph (UK)
“Buchanan offers an astute diagnosis of America's problems and gives constructive suggestions to put us back on track.” ―Virgil Goode (Former Congressman R-VA), The Daily Caller on Suicide of a Superpower
“Well-written, well researched and highly persuasive.” ―Tom Piatak, Chronicles Magazine
About the Author
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, America's leading populist conservative, was senior adviser to three American presidents, ran for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996, and was the Reform Party's presidential candidate in 2000. The author of ten other books, Buchanan is a syndicated columnist and founding member of three of America's foremost public affairs shows, NBC's The McLaughlin Group and CNN's The Capitol Gang and Crossfire. He lives in McLean, Virginia.
Top Customer Reviews
What Pat presents are undeniable trends that are in the process of radically transforming America. It's up to us to debate whether these radical changes are good or bad, but we should thank Pat Buchanan for bringing so many of them together all in one place, and for helping to connect the dots to see how they all relate. We all know that these dramatic changes are provoking a series of crises: we'll all be better prepared to deal with these crises if we know what we're up against. What we'll all have to decide is if we want a Christian nation with the moral, economic, and social fruit of such a culture, or whether we want a more relativistic, socialistic, and atheistic nation.
Pat begins in his Introduction with a warning from Soviet Russia: that America is no longer truly a nation, which he defines as "a people of a common ancestry, culture, and language who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, [and] share the same music, poetry, art, literature." Pat's thesis is clear throughout the book: America is disintegrating before our eyes. "What happened to the country we grew up in?" It's a question that I, as someone born in 1960 and someone who shares Pat's Christian beliefs, can identify with.
Pat begins his argument in Chapter 1 with an economic argument. I heartily agree with his assessment that our debt is a huge problem and that we have, unfortunately, become a "food stamp nation." I also share his misgivings about the role of The Fed in leading to a weakening of the American economy. However, while I agree that China is an economic threat, I don't completely buy Pat's negative assessment of globalization. In "Suicide of a Superpower," because Pat covers so many topics, he doesn't have to make an extended argument, for example, for his view of globalization. The most important statement Pat makes in Chapter 1 is that "the failure of our system is rooted in a societal failure."
Pat turns to "The Death of Christian America" in Chapter 2. Like it or not, this is the root of all of the momentous changes in America in the past several decades. Whether you hate or love the loss of the Christian identity of America, this transformation is the cause of all the others: to a large degree religion creates culture. It's clear from what Pat writes here and what others have written elsewhere that America saw herself as a distinctly Christian nation until recent decades. In Chapter 2, Pat gives but some of the many measures of how we are now much less a Christian nation, from the prayers at Obama's inauguration to the relative collapse of evangelical Christianity to the disintegration of The Episcopal Church. Pat then gives some measure of how the "death of God has blown up our decent and civil society." The loss of a Christian American identity has not only created many social ills but has also precipitated what have been called the "culture wars." I teach a class on Worldviews, in which I try to help my students see precisely the kinds of connections Pat makes for us. Most Americans only deal with individual issues about which they have feelings and are unable to articulate the theology and philosophy that are the foundations of their beliefs. Once again, Pat leaves us with a powerful and succinct summary of the point he's making: "the cycle is inescapable: when the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people die."
Chapter 3 gives us a close up of the Crisis in Catholicism, as one particular measure of the increasing impotence of Christianity in America. This includes not only the disbelief of American Catholics and the decline in the numbers of priests, nuns, etc. but also the cultural bias so many have against Catholics. My sense is that this is because Roman Catholics are the biggest, most prominent church - and because abortion is such a high-order issue for many atheists and nominal Christians.
In Chapter 4, Pat deals with The End of White America. He presents some attention-getting statistics from the New York Times: "whites would become a minority in 2042 and would fall to 46 percent of the population by 2050, comprising only 38 percent of U.S. population under 18." I can see the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. as a potentially positive thing. After all, as Philip Jenkins points out in "The Next Christendom," Hispanics are often devout Roman Catholics. But some of the facts that Pat presents has made me have to reconsider what the growth of illegitimacy, the allegiance of many Hispanics to Mexico, and other factors means for America's future.
Read Chapters 5-10 for yourself: they are necessary ingredients for understanding why Pat Buchanan and others fear the ultimate disintegration of America as we've known it. The push for equality of outcome, the cult of diversity, a nation that doesn't replenish its population and other disintegrating forces all lend strong support to Pat's overall thesis.
I'm fast running out of room in my review, so let skip to a discussion of Chapter 11, in which Pat discusses our "Last Chance." While I think Pat wastes too much time at the beginning rehashing some of the problems we face, he finally gets down to a potential solution. He starts with putting the nation's finances back in order, and I agree. This is an issue that has broad-based support, and if we don't solve this problem soon we may not survive long enough to deal with some of the cultural issues. Next, Pat recommends dismantling the American empire. For most of my adult life, I've been in favor of most of America's wars, but more recently I've had to re-think my position. While it's scary to contemplate a world without American intervention, it may, in the end, make us stronger and not weaker. I heartily agree with his proposal to downsize the state, and I think others are starting to agree. But, unfortunately, I think we're all so addicted to government handouts that we'll never have representatives who will vote for smaller government. Instead, I'm afraid that an economic catastrophe will force our hand.
Pat's final note is a weak one. I agree with him that we should reclaim a Christian culture and traditional religion and morality. However, Pat offers no real advice on how we can do this! If he's right (and I think he is) that culture follows religion, then he should have offered more advice on precisely this point.
In spite of a number of limitations I've mentioned, "Suicide of a Superpower" is a provocative, important, and well-written prophesy of where America seems to be headed.
Buchanan presents his argument in the following 11 chapters:
1. The Passing of a Superpower
2. The Death of Christian America
3. The Crisis of Catholicism
4. The End of White America
5. Demographic Winter
6. Equality or Freedom?
7. The Diversity Cult
8. The Triumph of Tribalism
9. "The White Party"
10. The Long Retreat
11. The Last Chance
Now I must confess that I have been a huge fan of Patrick J. Buchanan since I first discovered him on CNN's "Crossfire" and "The McLaughlin Group" in the early 1980's. As far as I am concerned he has been one of the few prominent political commentators with the courage to discuss the inevitable consequences of such dubious social and economic policies as NAFTA and GATT, the rush to multiculturalism and unchecked immigration. He has been spot on with his prognostications. Today we are dealing with the fallout from all of it. The thesis of "Suicide of a Superpower" is that America is disintegrating right before our very eyes and that it is probably too late to reverse it. So what do Americans have to look forward to?
According to Pat Buchanan "America is being transformed into a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world." The United States now lacks a common culture and a set of values most folks can agree on. Our nation appears to be hopelessly divided on many different fronts. Racially, we are more segregated today than we were in the 1970's. What ever happened to Dr. Martin Luther King"s vision of the "Beloved Community" which was essentially "a completely integrated society, a community of love and justice wherein brotherhood would be an actuality in all of social life?" If we as a society claim to love "diversity" so much why has America turned its back on the dream of Dr. King and chosen to seperate and segregate themselves from each other? Pat Buchanan offers answers and insights in his chapter "The Diversity Cult" . Meanwhile, our nation seems to be hopelessly divided politically as well. Liberal Democrats seem to have no clue why those who identify with the Tea Party are so upset and simply dismiss them as people "who cling to their guns and religion." Likewise, those of the conservative persuasion cannot for the life of them understand why so many of their fellow Americans are in favor of illegal immigration, out-of-control government spending, gay marriage and abortion on demand. Buchanan predicts the Balkanization of America will continue in the decades to come and paints a rather ominous portrait of the consequences. We can expect to see a continued spike in the illegitimacy rate, more teen suicides, even more people living in poverty and an increasing threat of violence. Indeed, much of what we are beginning to experience here in America has been going on around the world for quite some time. All of this is covered rather extensively in a chapter called "The Triumph of Tribalism".
"Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" covers so much ground that it is virtually impossible to summarize it in a short review like this. Suffice to say that Pat Buchanan has left no stone unturned in his heroic attempt to define the colossal problems we are facing as a nation and in his effort to present possible solutions. This is an exceptionally well-researched book and Pat Buchanan can turn a phrase with the best of them. Hopefully, "Suicide of a Superpower" will ignite a much-needed national dialogue on these important and controversial topics. Very highly recommended!