My choice this month—since the times are so tumultuous, and because Kamala Harris is being dispatched yet again to make the Ukraine situation better—is a book calculated to cheer you up a bit. It is called The Storm Before the Calm by George Friedman.
This is not a Christian book, and so for the full impact of the “cheering up” effect, you should also we well grounded in all the postmill stuff we are putting out. But even given postmillennialism, it is still possible to wonder how these turbulent and chaotic times could possibly take a turn for the better. That is where this book comes in, and also works like The Fourth Turning, or Sir John Glubb’s The Fate of Empires.
The basic idea in all these works is that human societies have lifespans, just like humans do.. We rotate through infancy, youth, middle age, and old age, just like individuals do. The Fourth Turning argues that the unit of longevity comes from the Romans, and is called a saeculum, and it is basically eighty years. Each cycle terminates in a crisis. From the War for Independence to the Civil War was eighty years. From the Civil War to World War II was eighty years. And eighty years from WW2 is . . . now.
This book by Friedman agrees with that cycle, what he calls the institutional cycle, but also argues that there is another cycle running alongside that one which he calls the socio-economic cycle. This cycle is a fifty year cycle, and he says that the trough of both kinds of cycles is right now, in the 2020’s. But after this dismal decade, he predicts that all the puppies and kittens will come out to play.
The danger in this kind of thing is that it might provoke some to become fatalistic. But for most of us, there is at least mild encouragement here. Human history is absolutely crammed with rough spots, and we shouldn’t take fright over the one we are in. Alarums are not all that unusual, and books like this one help you to zoom out.