In A Necessary Evil, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills shows that distrust of government is embedded deep in the American psyche. From the revolt of the colonies against king and parliament to present-day tax revolts, militia movements, and debates about term limits, Wills shows that American antigovernment sentiment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our history. By debunking some of our fondest myths about the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the taming of the frontier, Wills shows us how our tendency to hold our elected government in disdain is misguided.
Michael Beschloss The Washington Post Book World Wills displays once again his relentlessly questioning, subtle, and versatile mind.
Edmund S. Morgan The New York Review of Books A tract for the times...a plea for common sense in allowing government to do good without the paranoid obstructions of the misguided or malevolent.
Taylor Branch The New Yorker Not since Hannah Arendt wrote on revolution and on totalitarian psychology has a scholar of such broad classical training addressed a popular readership on issues of such moment, and with such animating reverence for what Arendt called the public space among citizens.
Curtis Gans The Washington Post A lucid, important, and rigorous defense of government.