The Republican U.S. Senator from Nebraska assesses and proposes solutions to the tension and pessimism of modern America caused, he theorizes, by increasing social isolation and the collapse of traditional community connections.
Sasse presents a compelling, well-supported look at why so many of us no longer have strong community ties and, why, in spite of all the interconnectivity in our constantly expanding, internet-driven world, so many people feel lonely ... While not completely apolitical, Sasse is careful in his disclaimers about how his beliefs shape the book, and whether readers agree with his political views or not, Them is a crucial contribution to a more open and productive social dialogue.
Sasse could give greater context to these trends, but does not ... Not surprisingly, Sasse avoids drawing clear causal lines between immigration, stagnant wages, shuttered factories and Trump’s victory.... Them forcefully expresses Sasse’s support for freedom of the press and religious liberty, a combination that appears in short supply elsewhere. Laudably, Sasse also refuses to demonize those on the other side of the aisle ... what makes Them worth the read is Sasse’s amalgam of realistic alarm and warning.
It's an interesting book—and parts of it are convincing—but it doesn't go quite deep enough into exploring what we've become as a country ... The solutions to the 'hate' that Sasse offers are sound, if not revolutionary ... The most striking thing about Them is that it doesn't read at all like a campaign book, and that's a good thing. There's no soft-focus autobiography, no humble-bragging about his accomplishments in the Senate. Sasse is an excellent writer, unpretentious, thoughtful, and at times, quite funny ... It's not a perfect book, and the reader might wish that Sasse had expanded a little more on some of his central ideas and proposed solutions ... even if you disagree with some or all of what Sasse writes, it's an interesting book and his arguments are worth reading—as are his warnings about what our country might become.