American Covenant

How the Constitution Unified Our Nation—and Could Again


By Yuval Levin

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“The most important voice in the political culture” (Ben Shapiro) reveals the Constitution’s remarkable power to repair our broken civic culture, rescue our malfunctioning politics, and unify a fractious America

Common ground is hard to find in today’s politics. In a society teeming with irreconcilable political perspectives, many people have grown frustrated under a system of government that constantly demands compromise. More and more on both the right and the left have come to blame the Constitution for the resulting discord. But the Constitution is not the problem we face; it is the solution. 
Blending engaging history with lucid analysis, conservative scholar Yuval Levin’s American Covenant recovers the Constitution’s true genius and reveals how it charts a path to repairing America’s fault lines. Uncovering the framers’ sophisticated grasp of political division, Levin showcases the Constitution’s exceptional power to facilitate constructive disagreement, negotiate resolutions to disputes, and forge unity in a fractured society. Clear-eyed about the ways that contemporary politics have malfunctioned, Levin also offers practical solutions for reforming those aspects of the constitutional order that have gone awry. 
Hopeful, insightful, and rooted in the best of our political tradition, American Covenant celebrates the Constitution’s remarkable power to bind together a diverse society, reassuring us that a less divided future is within our grasp. 
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  • "[American Covenant] makes the case for the Constitution's political science better than any other book...surprisingly comprehensive, accessibly written and imbued with a generous spirit that transcends our divisions.  A very fine introductory course on American politics."
    National Review
  • “[Levin] calmly, persuasively, and systematically instructs us in American Covenant, his splendid and timely new book...[an] elegant volume.”
    Washington Examiner
  • "American Covenant is prophetic...[Levin] is calling us to a renewed fidelity to our Founding principles." 
    Washington Free Beacon
  • “[A] timely and persuasive new book...The book distills the Framers’ wise and subtle constitutional vision, and it convincingly shows that America would be a better-governed and more unified country if our politicians, judges, and presidents embraced it.”
  • "Levin's book is a rare achievement.  Amid acrimony, it offers a sober assessment of the disunity that wracks the nation.  It provides penetrating observations about the federal government's underlying purpose, structure, and form, and its deviations from the original design. It judiciously synthesizes an impressive range of scholarship on American constitutional government, the political theory of modern republics, contemporary American government, and classical ideas about the regime and citizenship.  It provides practical proposals for reforming congress, the executive branch, the judiciary, and political parties.  And it deftly weaves together Madisonian and Aristotelian political science."
  • "In his splendid new book...[Levin's] lucid, jargon-free prose, renders this book the intelligent reader's best guide for understanding the American constitutional order, the decay into disorder, and a road toward its resuscitation...As Yuval Levin masterfully demonstrates, [the constitution] provides the foundation on which our democratic republic rests."
    Mark Landy, Law & Liberty
  • "[Levin] makes a learned and systematic case for why we need of the merits of the book is that almost every page contains some formulation that could - on its own - be the topic of a vigorous and productive dinner conversation...Our constitutional order has been broken down for some time. American Covenant can help us get serious about repair."
    John G. Grove, Law & Liberty
  • "A learned interpretation of the Constitution as a document that creates unity as much as political structures....An affably contrarian reading of the Constitution that merits attention."
  • “Because we Americans have forgotten how to disagree with one another, forgotten how to collaborate and compromise, Yuval Levin contends, in clear and persuasive prose, that the United States Constitution offers us a welcome framework for promoting our desperately needed national unity. Indeed, no one has ever explained so authoritatively and so judiciously the significance of the Constitution for the health of our civic life as Levin has in this brilliant book. It is an extraordinary achievement.”
    Gordon Wood, author of The Creation of the American Republic
  • “Yuval Levin may be the most important voice in the political culture right now. His serious, solutions-based thinking is an excellent corrective to the current moment, which is seemingly all about fostering division rather than rebuilding a common sense of purpose. His new book is a key part of the solution.”
    Ben Shapiro, founding editor of The Daily Wire
  • “In an era where both sides of the political spectrum see each other as mortal enemies and endless bickering is the norm, Yuval Levin brilliantly teaches how the spirit and substance of the Constitution can soften our animosity and make our disagreements constructive. American Covenant is a clear and hopeful guide for a more dignified and unified America.”
    Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah
  • “In his inspiring defense of the Constitution as a framework for national unity, Yuval Levin argues for a resurrection of the hopeful realism of James Madison. This is a brilliant and original work of political science and constitutional history that illuminates the sources of our current divisions and points the way to a more unified future.”
    Jeffrey Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center

On Sale
Jun 11, 2024
Page Count
352 pages
Basic Books

Yuval Levin

About the Author

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. The founder and editor of National Affairs, he is also a senior editor at the New Atlantis, a contributing editor at National Review, and a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times. His previous books include The Fractured Republic and A Time to Build. A former member of the White House domestic policy staff under George W. Bush, he lives in Maryland. 

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