In the aftermath of the COVID crisis, massive civil unrest and economic disruption, Americans are looking for guidance. They want to know how to navigate these uncertain waters. The solution must go beyond securing material prosperity. It must involve turning to a moral compass to return America to order.
To address this need, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) launched the book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go at its McLean, Virginia center (the TFP Washington bureau). The event was held on January 23, 2013. It launched not only a book but a nationwide campaign to spread its ideas far and wide.
Written by TFP vice president John Horvat II, this 381-page ground-breaking book defines the problems that afflict the nation and outlines the means to turn America away from the “frenetic intemperance” at the root of the present economic troubles and back to God’s plan for the country.
The book was the culmination of twenty years of research and reflection that started in 1986, when Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, founder of the Brazilian TFP, invited a few American TFP members to study modern socio-economic problems and the principles that informed medieval Christian economy. He foresaw many of the economic woes America faced. He urged a special TFP study commission to explore these issues in depth so as to have serious Christian analyses and solutions ready at hand.
“I think Return to Order is more timely than ever,” said John Horvat in an interview with Crusade. “Too many people rely on trendy economic theories and shortcuts to guide them. This book has recourse to perennial truths, valid for all times and places.”
As the book reached its tenth anniversary, the author believes that the ideas of Return to Order have entered into the mainstream of the debate. People are open to many ideas that they would never have supported in the past.
“I think it has to do with the aggressiveness of the culture war of our times,” Mr. Horvat commented. “People are mugged by the reality of our crumbling liberal order and are willing to explore the wisdom of the Church. I am amazed at how the Church’s solutions are so applicable to what is happening now.”
“These ideas and principles have served us well in the past. They can now be employed, resulting in refreshing and novel solutions that are so much needed. Of course, a return to order does not make sense without a return to God, the Blessed Mother and the Church.”
Return to Order has won eleven awards and much acclaim. Drawing on the book’s principles, Mr. Horvat has written hundreds of op-eds published in major media and sites. His website reaches hundreds of thousands of subscribers and readers. He has also given over seven hundred radio and television interviews. The book was sold at hundreds of events, speeches and talks.
The American TFP has featured Return to Order at its conferences, book tables and Fatima home visitation visits. It has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian. It is also available in e-book, audiobook, soft-cover and hard-cover formats. Overall, nearly 380,000 copies are now in circulation.