Did Civil-Rights Laws Ruin America?

(Tom Brenner/Reuters)
A review of Christopher Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he cliché is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The maxim animating The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell’s much-talked-about book covering “America since the Sixties,” is something more like: “Extraordinary claims should be floated on every other page, often implied rather than stated outright, and backed up only minimally.” The tome is astonishing in scope, yet underwhelming on most of the particulars.

It covers countless topics, from feminism to war, but treats the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the unexpected force behind everything that has gone wrong with America — a development that replaced the U.S. Constitution with a new,

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