Mike Kueber's Blog

February 26, 2012

Sunday Book Review #64 – Suicide of a Superpower by Patrick J. Buchanan

Filed under: Book reviews — Mike Kueber @ 7:36 pm
Tags: , ,

My stack of books from the library is getting too high.  Last night, I checked my library account and learned that two of the books were already overdue, and one of them couldn’t be renewed because someone else has already reserved it.  Thus, today I will have to return unread Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower.  That’s too bad because as I skimmed it last night and this morning, I found it to be highly readable and interesting.

Buchanan’s philosophy espoused in Suicide of a Superpower is similar to that of Newt Gingrich in his book, A Nation Like No Other.  Both think that Christianity is a major cornerstone of American exceptionalism and that banishing Christianity from the public square will result inevitably in the decline of America.  They also both believe strongly in economic nationalism as opposed to free trade.  Their major difference is that Buchanan is somewhat of an isolationist while Gingrich wants a muscular military and robust immigration. 

Buchanan’s chapter titles clearly reveal where his head it at:

  • Disintegrating Nation
  • The Passing of a Superpower
  • The Death of Christian America
  • The Crisis of Catholicism
  • The End of White America
  • Demographic Winter
  • Equality or Freedom
  • The Diversity Cult
  • The Triumph of Tribalism
  • The White Party
  • The Long Retreat

Despite all of Buchanan’s pessimism, he ends the book with a chapter titled “Last Chance.”  To stave off America’s decline, he suggests that we need to (a) get our fiscal house in order, (b) dismantle our global empire, (c) downsize government, (d) apply economic patriotism, (e) place a moratorium on immigration, and (f) end the culture war by getting conservative control of Congress and reining-in the courts.

I think Buchanan not only is going against the tide, but also is wrong (or at least I hope he is).  America may have been founded by Christians, but I don’t think Christianity in the public square is a sine qua non for our future success.




  1. I am very far from Buchanan politically, but think he very often has interesting and useful things to say. Despite his conservative Catholicism, I think he has some profound insights into common culture, and the things that bind us.

    He is just so awkward, and from another era when he starts talking about race and culture that he gets pegged as a racist, making it easier for others to not listen to him. But–in his books particularly–he is a cogent and interesting advocate for the pre-Goldwater conservatism.

    Comment by Snarky McSnarksnark — February 27, 2012 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

    • Well said, Snarky. Buchanan’s like the curmudgeony grandfather who speaks unfiltered; and mostly unaffected by the changing times.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — February 27, 2012 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  2. I suggest everyone read or re-read the first 50 pages of “Our Oriental Heritage” by Will and Aerial Durant. To set up the epic series of books they eventually published, they first clearly and coherently explain culture, civilization, and economics.


    ps – i keep it on my desk and i’m looking at it right now!

    Comment by Q — March 3, 2012 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

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