4. Uncivil Wars: The Controversy Over Reparations for Slavery
Now here’s a book of David’s that I imagine most of his readers would pass on as a seemingly minor text if I wasn’t here to tell them otherwise. Uncivil Wars is a narrative of David’s college campaign against reparations for slavery. It shows what happens when David presented an entirely moderate, reasonable, and liberal argument against paying people for what happened to their ancestors 150 years after the fact.
Why this book is so important, though, is that it’s not really about reparations. It’s actually about the American Idea. Part two explains why reparations is incompatible with the principles upon which America was founded. To make that argument David first has to lay out his understanding of just what’s so unique about America. It makes for some of the most exciting reading in all of his books.
The events described in Uncivil Wars were also the catalyst for one of David’s central subjects from the last decade: the Academic Freedom Campaign. And when you read the horrorstories of campus Stalinism you’ll understand why. I have not included any of David’s campus books on this list but One-Party Classroom would quality as #11 — its evidence for college indoctrination is the most thorough imaginable.