The Enlightenment and its opposite in America today

21st century America looks like 18th century

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Variations on the idea that America is deeply and evenly divided have been the dominant interpretations of politics since the 1960s. Before that, it was understood that Americans were divided, but not deeply, in many ways – by race, region, religion, class, ancestry, gender and party. Describing the country as fundamentally split along one particular axis would have seemed simplistic and overheated. But we are now repeating an aged dialectic between the Enlightenment and the Counter-Enlightenment.

Click here to read about how 21st century America is a lot like the 18th century, plus listen to podcasts and read blog posts about politics, politicians and policy on

Print this article Back to Top