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Professor pens book about America at 'tipping point'

  • Stephen C. Rowe

Posted on January 05, 2012

America is the most modern nation in the world, and well known for its top exports: modern convenience and democratic values.

Americans should then be the happiest people in the world, right? But when considering Occupy Wall Street protests, political gridlock, moral degradation, high unemployment and difficult economic times, one could project that Americans are among the angriest people in the world.

Stephen C. Rowe, professor of philosophy and liberal studies, has written a book that suggests America is now at a tipping point of either:

• being overcome by its multi-faceted, ideological battles (big government, corporate wealth, immigration), or
• being able to overcome those battles and “reclaim its integrity.”

Rowe wrote “Overcoming America/America Overcoming: Can We Survive Modernity?” (Lexington Books) because, he said, he felt it was his patriotic duty.

“The greatness of America has been eclipsed by the modern values generated by Americans,” Rowe said. “We need to reclaim her integrity through re-appropriation of what is truly great about America.”

Rowe cautioned that “Overcoming America/America Overcoming” is not a doctrine as to how Americans can right the ship, nor is it a simple call to get back to basics.

“We must re-appropriate the great American tradition of democratic deliberation and education. I hope this book will help people think together with their fellow citizens, and, thereby revive the American faith that the right answers will come and our mutual thriving will occur when people are together in this way,” Rowe said.

Other top social critics and philosophers have called this book a wake-up call and called Rowe one of their favorite commentators on American culture. Fred Dallmayr, from the University of Notre Dame and author of “In Search of the Good Life,” said Rowe does not impose moralistic formulas, “but encourages a renewed cultivation of civic virtues through dialogue.”

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