America's Social Revolution

By Melanie Phillips
December 2001
Civitas: The Institute for the Study of Civil Society
ISBN: 1-903-386-15-2[bookcover]
71 pages
$11.50 paper original

Britain suffers from apparently intractable social problems: crime, family breakdown, welfare dependency and educational failure. None of our political parties appears to have any idea of how to break into these cycles of anti-social behaviour and low achievement. Healthy debate, moreover, has been hampered by our ‘culture wars’, the deep divisions that now exist over moral and social values and over where the boundaries should be drawn between public policy and private lives.

Although the United States suffers from very similar social problems, the debate there has been more open. Experiments with school choice have raised education standards; accountable policing schemes have reduced crime; and, above all, initiatives designed to shore up the two-parent family have started to win people back to the importance of marriage and traditional family life.

Melanie Phillips visited America to investigate whether these schemes were having an effect – and whether it is possible to drag a society back from the brink of collective suicide.This book is the account of what she found there: the development of a social revolution.


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