How to Defend Democracy from Itself: On Steve Erickson’s “American Stutter, 2019–2021”

Charles Taylor in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

American Stutter, 20192021, novelist Steve Erickson’s journal of our ongoing plague year — the everything-at-once-all-the-time mash-up of election, pandemic, and still-unresolved attempted coup — springs from a clarifying rage that not only scorns right-wing perfidy but also looks askance at liberal good intentions (and their too-often ether-brained descendants, progressive good intentions). In Erickson’s view, liberal humanism is just not up to the job of preventing America from becoming a democracy in name only. His voice in this book is simultaneously that of a soldier exhorting his fellow combatants to get off their asses and rush with him into enemy fire, and of a disillusioned man wiping the dirt off his hands as he walks away from the grave of American democracy. It is hopeful and fierce and already grieving.

More here.