Magazine June 24, 2019, Issue

Arthur Brooks’s Love Your Enemies: A Call for Civic Healing

The Dalai Lama chats with Arthur Brooks in Washington, D.C., February 20, 2014. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)
Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt, by Arthur C. Brooks (Broadside Books, 256 pp., $27.99)

The earnestness of Love Your Enemies shines through on every page. Arthur Brooks, the past president of the American Enterprise Institute and a newly minted Harvard professor, surveys the bitterness and vitriol of American life and pens a how-to manual on steering back toward charity. One could almost say “Christian” charity, in light of the book’s title. While there is much wisdom in this volume, and while the impulse to heal our divisions is clearly necessary, Love Your Enemies doesn’t quite hit the mark. The sentiments are right — eschew contempt, watch out for confirmation bias, beware the disinhibition of

This article appears as “With Malice Toward None” in the June 24, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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