The American Story
He was a defender of free enterprise who adored the magnificence of the American genius for progress.
He was a champion of business who believed in profiting the old fashioned way.
He was a libertarian who deplored the rise of big government.
He was a constitutionalist who was aghast at how presidents and congresses shredded the document in times of economic crisis and war.
He was the last of the great old-time liberals who opposed FDR’s welfare-warfare state.
Above all else, he was a brilliant student of the American experience who could tell a story like no one else of his generation.
Garet Garrett’s last book was his own retelling of American history, with a special focus on the technologies and people behind them that transformed life for average people, along with a relentless and truth-telling story about the rise of the state.
These had been a theme of all of his work, from his novels of the 1920s to his case against the New Deal in the 1930s. His final work tells the story of the American people as its never been told, from an early experiment in freedom, and the fight against the powers in Washington that sought to suppress that freedom, all the way through the beginnings of a preventable Cold War.
The images that the author presses on the mind in The American Story–a complete biography of a country–are vivid and telling, the product of a lifetime of study and the wisdom of age.
The Wall Street Journal called this book “probably the most brilliant long historical essay on America that has ever been written.”
A book this great should have been read by all high school students in this country, but instead it died an early death. The political culture of the time found it inadmissible with too many unthinkable thoughts. Garrett struck the budding conservative movement as too erudite and too principled to fit in with the organizing plan of new times. He was left to write for the ages.
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