Christopher DeMuth, Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2015.
Charles Murray’s By the People takes Madisonian decline in a different direction. Its title, of course, is from the poetic invocation of republican government at the crescendo of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The thesis of Murray’s book is that republican restoration must be undertaken by the people themselves, rather than for them or in their name. Its epigraph might have been (but is not) another piece of presidential poetry, Jefferson’s “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”