There were two periods of enlightenment, Brooks says, which include the French and British Enlightenments. Americans have never figured out which they are children of. Brooks looks at each vision of change and compares them. He says the core question in American politics is whether our nation’s founding was a radical departure or an act of preservation. Brooks adds that this was a source of dispute between Jefferson and Hamilton and between and within political parties today.
Brooks is a New York Times columnist.