Discover the historical roots of our divisions to understand and overcome our differences today.

In an age of unreason, Seth David Radwell deftly conveys the history of our core values and shows us a reasoned way forward.

—Ana Navarro, CNN contributor

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About American Schism

An enlightened exploration of history to unite a deeply divided America

The political dialogue in America has collapsed. Raw and bitter emotions such as anger and resentment have crowded out any logical debate. In this investigative tracing of our nation’s divergent roots, author Seth David Radwell explains that only reasoned analysis and historical perspective can act as salves for the irrational political discourse that is raging at present.

Two disparate Americas have always coexisted, and Radwell discovered that the surprising origin of these dual Americas was not an Enlightenment, but two distinct Enlightenments that have been fiercely competing ever since the founding of our country. Radwell argues that it is only by embracing Enlightenment principles that we can build a civilized, progressive, and tolerant society.

American Schism reveals:

  • The roots of the rifts in America since its founding and what is really dividing red and blue America
  • The core issues that underlie all of today’s bickering
  • A detailed, effective plan to move forward, commencing what will be a long process of repair and reconciliation.

Seth David Radwell changes the nature of the political debate by fighting unreason with reason, allowing Americans to firmly ground their differing points of view in rationality.

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Praise for American Schism

About the Author

SETH DAVID RADWELL is an internationally known business executive and thought leader in consumer marketing. He previously served as President of e-Scholastic, the digital arm of the global children’s publishing and education company, and as President of Bookspan/Bertelsmann, where he developed book clubs for diverse readership, Black Expressions and Mosaico, in addition to overseeing all editorial, marketing, media, and digital functions for iconic brands such as Book of the Month Club, Doubleday Book Club, and Literary Guild.

He also served as CEO of The Proactiv Company, the leading skincare brand for acne; as President & Chief Revenue Officer of Guthy-Renker, the worldwide direct-to-consumer beauty company; and as Senior Vice President, Content for Prodigy Services Company.

He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Columbia College, Columbia University.

He currently divides his time between New York, Los Angeles, and Paris.

A short introduction to The Two Enlightenments

You probably recognize liberty, justice, equality, separation of church and state, and representative democracy as foundational principles of the United States of America.

These ideals were born during the 17th and 18th century Enlightenment, an era when individual capacity for rational thought and empirical reasoning blossomed.

But during the Enlightenment there were significant debates about how these ideals become expressed in the real world. In fact, the Enlightenment birthed starkly different and competing political philosophies which are still alive today.

While Enlightenment thinking was quite diverse and covered many different disciplines, two main schools of political philosophy emerged and vied for prominence.

This simplified overview is merely an introduction to the deep and rich exploration of these ideas and their impact on our lives today. To learn more, and get a sense of how you can use this framework to foster more constructive discussions, get a copy of American Schism.

Press Coverage

2022 International Book Awards

Winner in General Nonfiction

June 2022

IBA Finalist
2022 International Book Awards

Finalist in Best New Nonfiction

June 2022

Readers' Favorite Review of American Schism

American Schism dives as deep as I've read on what the root cause actually is and how the way forward begins with understanding what truly happened in the past

February 19, 2021

Seth’s guest appearance on ROI'S Into the Corner Office Podcast

Seth joined host Brandt Handley for a discussion about corporate leadership when he was CEO of The Proactiv Company

August 10, 2018