Midnight Kingdom: A History of Power, Paranoia, and the Coming Crisis

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From the author of American Rule and the host of The Muckrake podcast, an ambitious account of the rise of "the West" in world history, and the ways that it has exported its most dangerous tendencies across the globe

In his 2020 book, American Rule, Jared Yates Sexton took a hard look at our nation's history: namely, the abuses committed by those in power, and the comforting myths that provided them with cover and shaped the way we view ourselves up to the present. His approach and the narrative he uncovered proved worryingly relevant, as Americans struggle with an identity crisis in an increasingly divided public square.

Now in The Midnight Kingdom, Sexton applies this lens on a global scale. Starting in ancient Rome and working its way to modern times, the history focuses on three intertwined forces, all foundational to the concept of "the West" political power, religious indoctrination, and economic dominance. Along the way, Sexton exposes the hypocrisy and conspiratorial thinking that informed Western society's self-image and inspired its many conquests. He examines those societies throughout history that took a more egalitarian approach to gender, religion, and community--and were subjugated and exploited in return. Perhaps most important, he tugs at the threads connecting the mythic past to the complexities of today: the ascent of imperialism, the terrible power of capital, and the rise of political and religious extremism that now threaten our freedoms and very lives.

Bracing and compulsively readable, The Midnight Kingdom takes a critical look at the forces that have shaped humanity for centuries--and invites us to seek a radically different future.