From the author of American Rule and the host of The Muckrake Podcast, an ambitious account of how white supremacist lies, religious mythologies, and poisonous conspiracy theories built the modern world and threaten to plunge us into an authoritarian nightmare. To fully understand these strange and dangerous times, Jared Yates Sexton takes a hard look at our nation’s history: namely, the abuses committed by those in power and the comforting stories that shaped the way the West has viewed itself up to the present. As reactionaries and authoritarians cling to myths about “Western civilization,” The Midnight Kingdom exposes how political power, religious indoctrination, and economic dominance have been repeatedly weaponized to oppress and exploit, sounding an alarm for what lies ahead as the current order frays. Beginning with the Roman Empire and racing through centuries of colonization, war, genocide, and the recurring clashes of progress and regression, Sexton finds our modern world at a crossroads. In an echo of past crises, we have arrived at a time of historic inequality and a fading trust in our institutions. Meanwhile, authoritarianism is gaining momentum and the progress of the twentieth century is being rolled back at dizzying speed. This catastrophic moment holds terrible potential for a return to a totalitarian past or, potentially, a better, realer, more human future. The difference depends on a true reckoning with our history and the larger forces at play or hiding behind this disastrous fantasy of Western superiority. Bracing and compulsively readable, The Midnight Kingdom takes a critical look at the forces that have shaped human civilization for centuries—and invites us to seek a radically different future.