Nation never in greater peril
I registered as a Democrat in 1974 in Durham, N.C. While I rarely voted for one in those 44 years, I do not consider myself a Republican either.
I am an American, with a deep and broad understanding of American history nourished by a half century of deep reading and 25 years of lecturing as an avocational historian. I am appalled by the circus currently being played out by the U.S. Senate and a transparently partisan media. We have entered an era just as dangerous as the 1850s, which led to a bloody, convulsive and unnecessary civil war in the 1860s.
While there are many books that might shed light through the historical lens on our present circumstances, there is one that stands out: a recent publication by the late New England historian Thomas Fleming entitled “A Disease in the Public Mind.”
Best known for his writings on the Revolutionary-era, this fresh, insightful and original study tackles the Civil War era by going back to our beginnings to explain how intolerance, self-righteousness, and an unwillingness to compromise wed to justifications for violence lead inevitably to tragic consequences.
In summary, from the Salem witch trials, to tariffs and nullification right through Prohibition and the McCarthy era, Fleming uses history as a lantern to illuminate our clear and present danger.
If the malignant partisanship of our present times are not challenged, blunted and reversed, we have chosen to inaugurate another civil war. We have
never placed ourselves in greater danger. This madness must stop.
– Steve Quick Hilton Head Island