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Sure, the south was defeated militarily, but their attitudes remained, as we saw in the January 6th insurrection. What we saw is not a fringe, in fact it has deep roots. Disunity is traditional in American history. People in the north talked of secession well before the south. As our population exceeds 330 million, is one government really still able to serve us all? Can we make democracy more effective? Some dismiss talk of breaking down into more governable entities as just nuts. But our guest Richard Kreitner, author of the timely Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union says in the relatively near future, it may not be nuts at all. He points out that the term United States of America was more of an aspirational claim than a name, and was known to be untrue at its time. Can we have, as Lincoln hoped,”a more perfect union?” Time will tell.

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