Apr 9, 2017

The Bannon canon

Mike Allen, author of AM

Andrew Harnik / AP

The N.Y. Times' Jeremy Peters dives into one of Steve Bannon's favorite books, "The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy — What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny," by amateur historians William Strauss and Neil Howe (first published 20 years ago, in 1997):

Bannon has great admiration for a provocative but disputed theory of history that argues that the United States is nearing a crisis that could be just as disruptive and catastrophic as the most seminal global turning points of the last 250 years. This prophecy ... makes the case that world events unfold in predictable cycles of roughly 80 years each.

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Bannon said, "Everything President Trump is doing — all of it — is to get ahead of or stop any potential crisis."

Key passage: "Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, one commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II. The risk of catastrophe will be high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule."

The book's key tenets, per Peters:

  • "The rhythmic, seasonal nature of history that the authors identify foresees an inevitable period of decay and destruction that will tear down existing social and political institutions."
  • "Western society — particularly American culture — has denied the significance of cyclical patterns in history in favor of the more palatable and self-serving belief that humans are on an inexorable march toward improvement."
  • "The authors envision a return to a more traditional, conservative social order as one outcome of a crisis."

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,974,938— Total deaths: 365,976 — Total recoveries — 2,529,761Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,750,203 — Total deaths: 102,906 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: What U.S. workplaces may look like next — George Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business — The future of mobility in the post-pandemic world.
  4. Public health: CDC pares down guidance on how to reopen houses of worship —  The coronavirus could give bioterrorists ideas, security group warns.
  5. States: New York City will reopen June 8, Cuomo says.
  6. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.

National Guard heads to Louisville, Ky., to quell protests over fatal March police shooting

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered 350 National Guard to Lousiville, following two nights of protests against the fatal police shooting in of Breonna Taylor in her home.

Why it matters: Louisville was among the cities to erupt in protest after George Floyd died during an encounter with Minneapolis police, which was a bitter reminder of Louisville's own unresolved extrajudicial killing in March. The officers involved in Taylor's death have been placed on administrative leave but have not been formally charged, according to The New York Times. The FBI announced May 21 it would investigate the Kentucky shooting, per The New York Times.

Updated 31 mins ago - Science

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...