The book takes a number of interesting turns, talking about everyone from a Biden fundraiser to the great short story writer Raymond Carver. The book is affectingly written, but I'm not sure I know exactly all he's getting at. I get that he's a liberal chronicling the demise of the Great Society, but I feel like I'm missing something. Jonathan Alter, who has been pushing his book on the 2012 election, 'The Center Holds', says that the last election was the most important in a long time because it reaffirmed our commitment to the Great Society. It seems to me that the last several elections have been about this -- even the Clinton years had welfare reform. But the U.S. did not go the way of Europe after WW 2. The predominance of socialist parties from 1945 until Thatcher didn't happen here. I'm not necessarily saying it *could* happen here, either. The U.S. occupies a specific place in the world, like it or no. I sometimes think we were saddled with a Hobbesian war of all against all while Europe was able to move toward postmodernism(a luxury we really didn't get to have, except for awhile in certain universities.). By the way, I should say there is a lot to like about postmodernism, though I think its time has come and gone.
One thing the U.S. can do is move further along the road of a mixed economy.