Our National Predicament

Come Home, America, political journalist William Greider’s sixth book, is a passionate argument that today’s United States is deeply wounded and needs profound attention now. We must stop trying to run the world, he warns, or it will be too late to turn things around.

Greider, who made his reputation writing for The Washington Post, is currently the national affairs correspondent for The Nation magazine. He draws on more than three decades of reporting, both in the United States and abroad, to demonstrate the nation’s deep economic and military failures. The book contains a moving personal journey and a remarkable, cogent argument that should be closely studied and acted on.

“Having grown up Republican and conservative in the managerial middle class, I shared the lingering hostility toward the Roosevelt era,” writes Greider. “I began to understand and admire the logic of the New Deal only belatedly, just as it was crashing. The joke was on me. At the very moment I was embracing the core principles of economic liberalism, the political system discarded them.”

What changed Greider? The unmitigated militarism of the United States, for one. The U.S. has been laying the trip wires for war virtually all over the world, writes Greider, “betting that other nations will be too intimidated by our military power to respond.” The end result: Continuing nuclear proliferation, billions of dollars spent on a bottomless military budget, and endless death around the world from what he sees as unnecessary political posturing by the U.S. Greider sees a missed opportunity “of historic proportions” after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. After 50 years of rivalry between the Soviet Union and the U.S., he says “conditions were ripe for more normal interplay among nations.” The 1990s would have been the time to make this profound change, but it never happened.

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Sojourners Magazine June 2009
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