LJDC Book Recommendation – August

This Month’s Book Recommendation by Paula McCormack, VP

After The Fall
by Ben Rhodes
Random House (June 1, 2021)384 Pages
 Dear fellow members,
I absolutely LOVED this book! For those of us who have been struggling to comprehend what is happening in America, Ben Rhodes offers a deeply personal, insightful analysis of the forces¬† which have impacted the political world since the end of the Cold War. He masterfully blends a cogent, academic review of these trends with the personal narratives of individuals who are grappling with the increase in authoritarianism in their countries. It is these stories, coupled with the author’s own, which makes this a fascinating look at this human journey, of which we are all a part. I found myself identifying with people across the globe, with different histories, different cultures, yet bonded by a passionate need for free, fair self-governance. He confronts America’s recent history squarely in the face, revealing how we’ve impacted the world.(and our own nation)..and it’s not always pretty. Rhodes remains optimistic through it all, as you can see in this quote from the book:
“To be born American in the late twentieth century was to take the fact of a particular kind of American exceptionalism as granted. In the span of just thirty years, this assumption would come crashing down. America is no longer a hegemon. THERE IS OPPORTUNITY IN THAT.(caps mine) To claim the mentality of the nation of outsiders, comprising every strand of humanity. To make capitalism about something more than money, to make national security about something other than subjugation, to make technology work better as a tool for human enlightenment. To learn from others around the world instead of thinking that it is always we who have something to teach them. After the fall, we must determine what it means to be American again.”
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