Book Review: The Rise of the New Puritans

by Noah Rothman

🌟🌟🌟 & 1/2

This book has been on my TBR for a while, and I just haven’t been sure I was really in the mood to read it. I knew it would be far more centered on current events and politics than I usually go for, but the premise was something that intrigued me. The author posits that our Puritan forefathers have left indelible marks on our culture and our political consciousness, and the inheritors of that unbalanced, totalitarian piety have made a return to power.

The book flips back and forth between the ideology of the original Puritans and the ideology of their progressive progeny. Some of the correlations are disturbing and saddening, especially when you think to yourself: why do we never learn our lesson? The writing style kept things going at a good clip and sometimes edged just perceptibly toward snarky. Here and there it felt preachy, but the subject matter was interesting enough for me to look past that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who feels a bit bewildered by our current culture. It at least offers a framework with which to try to understand some of the craziness. It even offers a modicum of reassurance: totalitarian bullies usually get their comeuppance, and history rarely looks back with a gracious eye on them or their ideology.

Β© 2022 Katie Baker

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