Mark Steyn talks to TheDC about his book, ‘After America’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Have you seen that MSNBC “Lean Forward” ad featuring Rachel Maddow at the Hoover Dam? The premise is simple — America once did big things (like construct dams), but now — thanks to small government conservatives — our best days are behind us.

Though he doesn’t mention Maddow by name, Mark Steyn clearly disagrees with her premise. Rather than build a dam, he writes in his new book After America, “today’s Big Government crowd is more likely to put up a new regulatory agency to tell the Hoover Dam it’s non-wheelchair accessible and has to close.”

I recently caught up with Steyn to discuss After America. (You can listen to our full conversation here — or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.)

Dam building, of course, isn’t the only area where Steyn worries we’ve fallen behind. “It’s even hard to imagine us recreating the Moon landing from 1969,” he lamented during our talk.

For those who worry the subject matter means this book will be a downer, the good news is that Steyn — a bestselling author and frequent guest radio host for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — is perhaps unrivaled in his ability to discuss dark topics in a humorous and pithy way.

Regarding our educational system, for example, he remarked: “We have devised a system where hacks pretend to teach, slackers pretend to learn, and employers pretend it’s a qualification.”

As one reviewer observed, this book may cause you to both laugh and cry. Steyn is a brilliant mind, and rather than merely writing a jeremiad on liberalism, he has penned a smart book which references everyone from Tocquville and Edward Gibbon — to H.G. Wells and Frank Sinatra.

Whether you laugh or cry (or both), in reading Steyn, you are sure to at least learn something.

(Listen to our full conversation here. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes).

Matt K. Lewis