The Public Interest

Home of the tolerant

William A. Galston

Fall 1998

ALAN Wolfe has long been one of Americas ablest sociologists.  With his latest book, he emerges as one of our most important public intellectuals as well. In two years spent talking with middle-class Americans in eight communities around the country, he finds little evidence of a “culture war” or even of significant moral disagreements between Left and Right.  Instead, he finds individuals struggling to find a new balance between tradition and modernity, between moral principles and individual choice, between religious commands and personal need. If there is a culture war, he concludes, it is within individuals, not between them.

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