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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
In New Direction by Joshua Flapan, the author argues that the United States is entrenched in a prolonged civil war marked by cultural conflicts. Proposing a Constitutional Convention as a solution, Flapan addresses issues such as electoral college problems, war powers, and divisive wedge topics, advocating for a transparent and inclusive political process. Flapan provides context through historical events, wars, cultural debates, and government actions for a solid overview of constitutional and social issues throughout U.S. history. He discusses the failures of the existing system and the need for a nonviolent revolution through constitutional means to create a more adaptive and effective governance structure. Flapan discusses the necessity of addressing long-standing wedge issues and creating a new charter to foster transparency and responsiveness while weeding through contemporary challenges and economic difficulties and proposing reforms for a more efficient and democratic government.
New Direction by Joshua Flapan provides an extraordinarily detailed and informative analysis of various government departments, their historical contexts, and the challenges they face. The inclusion of comparative analyses strengthens the book's standing as a reform-focused work. As an American expat who has spent the last decade in England, it was interesting to take a deep dive beyond the superficial surface of other books and to read not just what the problems facing American governance are right now but a proposal to fix them. It was heartening to see someone intelligently champion the safeguarding of institutions, like the independence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the threat to its integrity. The standout to me is Flapan's unwavering understanding that the Constitution is a living document and that reforms are needed to address contemporary issues. The book is well-written, exhaustively researched, and presented in an accessible manner, and there is no doubt readers who sit down with it will agree it has both merit and value. Very highly recommended.