OPINIONSrnThe Vanishing Anglo-Saxon Minorityrnby Samuel Francisrn”The Anglo-Saxon carries self-government and self-developmentrnwith him wherever he goes.”rn— Henry Ward BeecherrnThe Cousins’ Wars:rnReligion, Politics, Civil Warfare,rnand the Triumph of Anglo-Americarnby Kevin P. PhiUipsrnNew York: Basic Books;rn707 pp., $32.50rnFor almost exactly 30 years, Kevin P.rnPhillips has been cranking out somernof the most interesting and provocativernworks of political analysis written sincernWorld War II. In 1969, The EmergingrnRepublican Majority argued that Americanrnpolitics runs through periodic cyclesrnof about 30 years and that a new cycle,rnbased demographically on the “Sunbelt”rn(a term he is usually credited with havingrncoined) and expressed through the RepublicanrnParty of Richard Nixon andrnRonald Reagan, was about to unfold.rnThe prediction was somewhat derailedrnby the intrusion of more-or-less accidentalrnevents like Watergate and by thernnot-so-accidental incompetency of Republicans,rnwho have managed to misunderstandrnthe nature of their own constituencyrnand have forgotten how tornmobilize it. Nevertheless, the patternsrnMr. Phillips perceived were essentiallyrncorrect and, indeed, have been acceptedrnas conventional polidcal wisdom.rnHis other books followed similar paths,rnall of them having to do with contemporaryrnpolitical and social affairs. No one,rnas far as I know, ever suspected that Mr.rnPhillips had any other calling but that ofrnSamuel Francis is a nationally syndicatedrncolumnist and editor of the SamuelrnFrancis Letter, a monthly newsletter.rna political bloodhoimd. Now, it turnsrnout, what he has been writing about forrnthe last generation is merely the icing onrnthe much broader and deeper cake thatrnhis most recent book serves.rnThe Cousins’ Wars has nothing to dornwith contemporary politics; indeed, in itsrnsounder sections, it is reminiscent ofrnDavid Hackett Fischer’s A/fcion’s Seedrnand of some of John Lukacs’s excursionsrninto American history: a vast explorationrnof what Mr. Phillips regards as the sharedrnhistory of two different but closely relatedrnpeoples, the English and the American,rnand how their common past shaped theirrneventual triumph in the last century asrnthe dominant peoples of the earth.rnThe “Cousins’ Wars” are the EnglishrnRevolution of 1640-1660, the AmericanrnWar for Independence of 1775-1783,rnand the American Civil War of 1861-rn1865. Entire libraries have been writtenrnabout each one of them. That makes itrnall the more remarkable that Mr. Phillipsrnwas able to master so many of the detailsrnof each period, including not only thernmilitary minutiae of campaigns and batdesrnbut the ethnic, religious, economic,rnand demographic details of local and regionalrnhistory that are the stuff of his interpretation.rnHe occasionally makes arnmistake (e.g., the wife of James I was notrna Catholic, but the Lutheran Anne ofrnDenmark), but on the whole the range ofrnhis erudition is astonishing, given his lackrnof an academic background (then again,rnperhaps because of it) in British or Amer-rnEj, ican history and the focus of his attentionrnt in his earlier books. Nevertheless, his in-rnI terpretation remains somewhat open tornquestion.rnPhillips argues that it wasrnthrough these three wars… thatrnthe English-speaking world criticallyrnreshaped itself Broadly, thernresult was to uphold political liberties,rncommercial progress, technologicalrninventiveness, linguistic ambition,rnand territorial expansion.rnThe Anglos (for lack of a better term torndescribe the mainly Anglo-Saxon-descendedrndominant core populations ofrnthe British and American nations)rnachieved this reshaping becausernfrom the seventeenth century, thernEnglish-speaking people on bothrncontinents defined themselves byrnwars that upheld, at least for arnwhile, a guiding political culhire ofrna Low church, Calvinistic Protes-rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn