Magazine December 3, 2018, Issue

Tribes of the Lonely

A man sits on a bench near John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., November 5, 2015 (Carlos Barria/Reuters )
Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal, by Ben Sasse (St. Martin’s Press, 288 pp., $28.99)

After being elected to the United States Senate in 2014, Nebraska’s Ben Sasse chose to revive a long-dormant tradition: He waited a full year before delivering his maiden speech. Then, in what cynics might view as commentary on his colleagues, he produced two books in 18 months, one suggesting that adulthood was in short supply in America, and now an examination of our ugly divisions.

Sasse is highly attuned to the cultural sources of our current discontents and dysfunctions. The decline of family life, the loss of job security, the erosion of local communities that give life texture and provide the

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