In his new book, The Cycles of Constitutional Time, Jack Balkin achieves something remarkable. He paints an unflinchingly grim portrait of modern American politics that is at once brutally honest about the dire state of our predicament while also somehow brimming with optimism and hope. In that regard, it is Balkinsian to its core – sober and trenchant in its analysis, yet buoyant in its outlook. Not many people could have written a book like this. And we should be grateful that he has. At a time like this, when it feels like the democratic sun is ever more likely to be shrouded in total darkness, we need Balkin’s characteristic galloping prose and encouraging spirit to instill the belief that a brighter day lies ahead.

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