The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America - book cover
Politics & Government
  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Published : 05 Oct 2021
  • Pages : 432
  • ISBN-10 : 154164753X
  • ISBN-13 : 9781541647534
  • Language : English

The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America

The New York Times bestselling author of The Case for Trump explains the decline and fall of the once cherished idea of American citizenship.

Human history is full of the stories of peasants, subjects, and tribes. Yet the concept of the “citizen” is historically rare—and was among America’s most valued ideals for over two centuries. But without shock treatment, warns historian Victor Davis Hanson, American citizenship as we have known it may soon vanish.

In The Dying Citizen, Hanson outlines the historical forces that led to this crisis. The evisceration of the middle class over the last fifty years has made many Americans dependent on the federal government. Open borders have undermined the idea of allegiance to a particular place. Identity politics have eradicated our collective civic sense of self. And a top-heavy administrative state has endangered personal liberty, along with formal efforts to weaken the Constitution.

As in the revolutionary years of 1848, 1917, and 1968, 2020 ripped away our complacency about the future. But in the aftermath, we as Americans can rebuild and recover what we have lost. The choice is ours.

Editorial Reviews

"Indispensable… Hanson's immensely erudite and inspiriting book offers a most welcome corrective to those influential forces and doctrines in our midst that conspire to delegitimize the citizen and citizenship as such. In doing so, he provides us with hope that our society still has within it significant powers of rejuvenation."―National Review

"As Victor Davis Hanson shows in his learned, powerful, and troubling new book, The Dying Citizen, the steady devolution of citizenship speaks volumes about where we are today and where we seem to be heading… Hanson lays out this grim diagnosis with his usual clarity and brilliance, moving easily from his deep specialized knowledge of the ancient Greek and Roman world through savvy observations about present-day politics and American society."

Readers Top Reviews

It’s been said that once a handout is codified in law, no future politician will ever rescind the statute. Seems that once a lie is told by the deep state, it also will never be retracted.
I knew the book might be brilliant as the all previous ones, but this one touch the most and deepest strings of our society and our everyday's life. The sound is high and very well pitched. Bravo Maestro!
The Dying Citizen by historian Victor Davis Hansen is an impressive study chronicling the rise of the idea of democracy and concepts of what citizenship entailed as civilizations developed, thrived, and failed. He highlights the various classes that developed in Ancient Greece and Roman times that laid the foundation for our modern world leading to the most precious of documents…the Constitution of the United States. He then proceeds to point out the attacks coming from abroad (globalization) and domestically (leftist progressivism) that assail it. This is a book that should be read by all patriotic Americans who are aghast at the direction we’re heading. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. Highly recommend.
Tony Meyer
Slam dunk, Victor Davis Hansen is the most outstanding intellectual of our times. He is a renaissance man - - being a top classicist, premier historian and perceptive political commentator of our changing world. And all this rolled into one! With his deep understanding of currrent events, and his vast understanding of history, Victor Davis Hansen delineates our caste system - - so to speak, and its history. It is not a nice word to pigeon-hole someone an "intellectual" in today's world, so i use that word sparingly. But with Victor Davis Hansen i utilize that word with admiration. When Prof Hansen speaks i listen. He inspires me to learn and to study plus ask questions. I say to everyone BON APETITE, as you feast on this new classic of Victor Davis Hansen. Even if you don't read this masterpiece, at least make it part of your permanent library,. Together with Thucydides, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Jefferson and other great writers, also belongs Victor Davis Hansen.
linda galella
the question you’ll be able to answer after finishing “The Dying Citizen”, by Victor David Hanson. Hanson is a senior fellow of military history and classics at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. He traces the history of citizenship back to its earliest days and follows the path to current conditions. It’s a heavy going and reads very much like a text book in parts. I was quite shocked to learn that most Americans have no clue what the First Amendment is, what the 3 branches of government are or who key historical figures are like Ulysses S. Grant or Dwight D. Eisenhower. The book is broken up into 6 lengthy chapters that discuss: 1. PEASANTS - shrinking of the middle class 2. RESIDENTS - distinction between immigrants, residents & citizens; their right and laws 3. TRIBES - national identity vs. tribe identity; racism, bias and patriotism 4. UNELECTED - deep state, media, bureaucratic elite growing in power 5. EVOLUTIONARIES - dismantling the Constitution 6. GLOBALISTS - threat of globalism and loss of freedom, democracy Each of these chapters is full of historical data leading up to our current situation with enough documentation to fill the last 20% of this volume. IMO, the best part of this book is the author’s epilogue. Hanson had cause to pen a lengthy update during the final editing process. In this chapter he pulls all the pieces together and summarizes including the last few months: “The stakes were no less than the preservation of the American republic itself.” A worthy read ?