Magazine October 28, 2019, Issue

Fraying Families and the Roots of Identity Politics

A young woman verbally assaults a policeman during a protest on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., August 22, 2017. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)
Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics, by Mary Eberstadt (Templeton, 192 pp., $24.95)

There’s a passage in the second chapter of Mary Eberstadt’s new book that effectively captures the point of the entire work. Eberstadt is discussing some of the insane excesses of modern political correctness: campus demonstrations, cancel culture, and so forth. “Such phenomena are indeed bizarre,” she writes, “if we examine them with the instruments of Aristotelian logic. But if instead we understand them against the existential reality of today — one in which the human family has imploded, and in which many people, no matter how privileged otherwise, have been deprived of the most elementary human connections — we can

This article appears as “The Great Scattering” in the October 28, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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