History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America

December 6, 2020
History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America

Popular consensus says that the US rose over two centuries toCold War victory and world domination, and is now in slow decline.But is this right? History's great civilizations have always lastedmuch longer, and for all its colossal power, American culture wasovershadowed by Europe until recently. What if this isn't the end?In History Has Begun, Bruno Maçães offers a compellingvision of America's future, both fascinating and unnerving. Fromthe early American Republic, he takes us to the turbulent present,when, he argues, America is finally forging its own path. We cansee the birth pangs of this new civilization in today's debates onguns, religion, foreign policy and the significance of Trump.Should the coronavirus pandemic be regarded as an opportunity tobuild a new kind of society? What will its values be, and what willthis new America look like? Maçães traces the long arc of UShistory to argue that in contrast to those who see the US on thecusp of decline, it may well be simply shifting to a new model, oneequally powerful but no longer liberal. Consequently, it is nolonger enough to analyze America's current trajectory through thesimple prism of decline vs. progress, which assumes a staticmodel-America as liberal leviathan. Rather, Maçães argues thatAmerica may be casting off the liberalism that has defined thecountry since its founding for a new model, one more appropriate tosucceeding in a transformed world.