November 27, 2022
The American Crisis: Chronicling and Confronting the Trump Shitstorm, by Frank S. Robinson; Verity Press International; 247 pages; $12.95 (+ $4 shipping in USA). Payment by credit card; Paypal or Zelle to email@example.com; or check to me at Box 8600, Albany, NY 12208.
“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine wrote in The American Crisis, in 1776. I’ve always been an idealist, not a cynic, a realist but an optimist — writing The Case for Rational Optimism, and blogging as the “Rational Optimist.”
But since 2016 I, like Paine did, have seen America in crisis. This book is a chronological selection of my relevant blog essays. I’ve tried to grapple with what’s happening, to understand and analyze it.
Long politically engaged (I was a conservative Republican), I published my first book about politics in 1973. This volume may be somewhat unique in tracing one observer’s perspectives on events as they were unfolding, when they were fresh and raw, echoing the notion of journalism as “the first draft of history.”
I have mercilessly edited the entries to minimize repetition, and for brevity, cutting out much verbiage; but have refrained from using hindsight to look smarter or more prescient.
In every civilization people have always groused that it’s going to the dogs. Sustaining our American project requires us to hold fast to our fundamental values. I’m not ready to give up on it, being still an idealist and optimist. That’s why I’m publishing this.