Foreword Reviews

The New Civil War

Exposing Elites, Fighting Utopian Leftism, and Restoring America

Clarion Rating: 2 out of 5

The New Civil War is a political science tract that’s aimed at helping conservative Americans shape the country’s future.

Bruce D. Abramson presents a vision for America in The New Civil War.

The US, Abramson argues, is at a critical crossroads. From this perspective, conservatives have failed to stymie rising progressivism and must admit their failings, rebrand themselves as “restorationists,” and prepare for the coming battle against progressive ideologies. Presented as a new civil war, this coming battle is imagined as one that should involve change at every level, from the upper echelons of academic institutions to one-on-one discussions between progressives and restorationists.

But in tone and form, the book leans on false dichotomies, positioning “patriots” against progressives, and the left against “reality.” It makes claims that sound racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, and transphobic in developing its view of what America should be. It also levels broad, vague accusations against the government, the electoral process, and academic institutions. However, it cites few concrete examples to support its incendiary claims.

The book’s discussions of real problems within the entities it critiques, including antisemitism, rising tuition, and increasing student debt, are derailed by its unsupported and offensive conspiracy theories. Its hyperbolic language and bitter tone also provoke emotional responses, rather than encouraging logical consideration of its subject matter.

Many of the book’s arguments are hypocritical. For example, it asserts the importance of primary sources, but cites few beyond personal recollections and interpretations of events. It accuses progressives of viewing minorities as monoliths, and then it describes several minority groups in sweeping, monolithic terms. It states that experts should only be trusted with matters directly related to their specific areas of expertise, but, without those credentials to do so, identifies and dictates solutions for America’s racial, educational, economic, journalistic, environmental, and political problems itself.

The book includes hypothetical discussions between restorationists and progressives that are intended as guides for how the former can disarm the latter, and perhaps even persuade others to abandon progressivism. These imagined arguments—as does the book as a whole—misrepresent progressive ideas, including #DisruptTexts and the concept of systemic racism. Though it cautions that progressives may not be easily swayed, the book assumes easy conversational victories and neglects to prepare restorationists for obvious counterarguments, such as examples of specific policies from President Obama and President Trump’s tenures.

The book’s strong tone, uncompromising views, and demonization of its opponents will appeal to those seeking confirmation of their preexisting opinions. However, its frequent inaccuracies, omissions, and strawman arguments make it an unlikely starting point to effectively prepare anyone for “war” with a well-informed progressive.

The New Civil War is a political science tract that’s aimed at helping conservative Americans shape the country’s future.

Reviewed by Eileen Gonzalez

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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