5.0 out of 5 stars
Given me a new perspective on government, 9 Mar 2014
"The national interest is not always the sum of our single or special interests". - Jimmy Carter
Rauch ably explores the full, somewhat depressing depth of this quote. He shows that special interests today are largely us, and that assigning and blaming villains for our governments gridlock, as both liberals and conservatives do, is a guarantee that we will misunderstand the nature of late 20th century and 21st century government.
He hardly mentions the internet at all, because this book was written in the 90s, but it's not hard to see how the web only magnifies his points, and the book has not aged at all.
This is not a partisan book, despite what you may assume from the mood of the title.
Although it all makes perfect sense, and most of his ideas are clear and persuasive, I've yet to decide how much I believe his final conclusions. I'll also be thinking about how much this applies to my native UK and how much is specific to the US. But it's given me a new intuition pump to think about how government and politics work which I am going to make much use of. Recommended.