Book Review: Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

Caldwell traces the far-reaching consequence over time and across society as a consequence of the Civil Rights act, albiet in a rather heavy-handed and largley pessimistic light…

Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

Author: Christopher Caldwell

Rating: 3.6 / 5

Caldwell, as a member of a conservative think tank, projects a series of expected views against progressive and elitest pretentiousness, affirmative action, and the consequential marginalization of a set of now-reactionary Americans to changing orders and perceived liberties. Caldwell does ground his arguments in a Constitutional basis and ties problems of the past to those of the present. One topic of high relevance today is the limits of freedom of association against discrimination. Caldwell perhaps presents this arugment as more mutually exclusive than may be reality, however it is important to consider the shifting balance across this spectrum under the ways America has changed since the first drafting of the Constitution. Caldwell does do a good job in tracing the threads of the Civil Rights Act through particular cases throughout society at individual, corporate, and governmental levels. However, this work largely reads to me as a list of complaints, problems, and fitting narratives with retrospective-bias of how we got here today, with little room or solutions or future optimism in effective governance over ever-diversifying individuals and institutions.