In the aftermath of the Cold war, people around the globe are reexamining and reinventing their political systems, conscious that political choices imply different ways of life. In this new cross-cultural study, Angelo M. Codevilla illustrates that as people shape their governments, they shape themselves. Drawing broadly from the sweep of history, from the Roman republic to de Tocqueville’s America, as well as from personal and scholarly observations of the world in the twentieth century, The Character of Nations reveals remarkable truths about the effects of government on a society’s economic arrangenments, moral order, sense of family life, and ability to defend itself. Codevilla argues that in present-day America government has had a profound negative effect on societal norms. It has taught people to seek prosperity through connections with political power; it has fostered the atrophy of civic responsibility; it has waged a Kulturkampf against family and religion; and it has dug a dangerous schasm between those who serve in the military and those who send it in harm’s way. Informative and provocative, The Character of Nations shows how the political decisions we make have higher stakes than simply who wins elections.
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