Overcoming America / America Overcoming: Reinventing Culture and Being at Home in the World in the Age of Pandemic, Revised Edition


Via Rowman & Littlefield: In this new edition of Overcoming America / America Overcoming, Stephen Rowe shows how the COVID-19 pandemic in tandem with Trumpism have brought basic dynamics of the American situation to high relief, and hence provide opportunity to address them – before it is too late. The dynamics he identifies are those of moral disease and political paralysis as symptomatic of the fact that America herself has been overtaken by the modern values which she exported to the rest of the world. He points to a way out of the current and potentially fatal malaise and violence: join other societies which are also struggling to move beyond the modern and consciously reappropriate those elements of tradition which have to do with cultivation of the mature human being. To avoid fundamentalism, Rowe discusses how this reappropriation must be undertaken in dialogue with those who also have come to recognize the unsustainable quality of the modern life, and who have been able to live beyond the nihilistic wish to tear it down. This book supports the call for an emerging global ethic and spirituality, providing resources of articulation and interpretation that allow for an ongoing dialogue between traditional and modern values—both worthy and problematic in their own ways—through which reliable policy and healthy living become possible.

“A wake-up call—and just in time! At the book’s publication, the upper
echelons of American society are wallowing to an alarming degree in the
wasteland of unlimited greed, power-lust, pleasure-seeking, and
corruption—all this in complete disregard of the deeper wellsprings that
have animated America’s original vision of ‘liberty and justice for all.’ This is
a ‘postmodern’ book in the best sense: one that does not simply reject
modernity but rather rescues modernity-gone-astray, thus paving the way to
recovery. Stephen Rowe is an admirably lucid and courageous writer
sounding this wake-up call—not by imposing moralistic formulas from
above, but by encouraging a renewed cultivation of civic virtues through
mutual openness and dialogical engagement.”
— Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame

“Stephen Rowe launches a powerful argument for the need to aufheben
(‘negate-and-uplift’) the modern and to construct a relational America.
Engaging and refreshing. An excellent example of how comparative
philosophy is relevant to the real world.”
— Chenyang Li, author of The Tao Encounters the West:
Explorations in Comparative Philosophy

Overcoming America / America Overcoming Revinventing Culture and Being at Home in the World in the Age of Pandemic, Revised Edition (Lexington Books, 2021) is available on the Rowman & Littlefield website and can be purchased with discount code LEX30AUTH21.

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