Review of Joshua Mitchell, American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time. Encounter Books, US$28.99.

America seems to have gone mad. It still is the world’s richest and most powerful country, with the oldest continuous government on earth. Yet it is in deep crisis, and divided between hostile camps that reject each other’s legitimacy.

Paradoxically, what made America strong also makes it inherently fragile. Joshua Mitchell, a professor of government at Georgetown University, presents a cogent diagnosis of America’s dark night of the soul in a remarkable new book.