Perhaps no better time than now has come for an analysis of the crisis in leadership within the US, and perhaps no one is better suited to write it than Pete Hegseth. Pete, a fellow Minnesotan and a friend, has served in the Army infantry in the theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also at Guantanamo Bay, giving him a deep insight into the threat to the West in an age of radical Islamic terrorism. After returning to the US, Pete served on the home front as the head of Concerned Veterans for America and had a brief run for the US Senate in Minnesota (a campaign I enthusiastically supported).

Earlier today, Pete and I discussed In the Arena, his new book on not just the current leadership crisis but the cultural crises that produced it. We discuss the role education plays in proper formation of citizens of republics, how the demand for carve-out privileges undermine that project, and the need to return to the words of both Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy on the nature of citizenship. Plus, we give a shout-out to our home state, too:

“It is not the critic who counts . . . the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

So begins Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” quote…yet few recall the powerful speech from which it echoes. Pete Hegseth is one of them. The FOX News contributor; Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay veteran; military and veterans advocate; and Ivy League agitator delivers a vigorous call-to-arms to reignite American citizenship at home—and restore unapologetic American leadership abroad—through the timeless lens of Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech.

Hegseth makes an impassioned argument for how Roosevelt’s articulation of gritty citizenship, the dogged pursuit of equal opportunity, and an aggressive commitment to winning our wars (including Iraq!), can renew our exceptional nation and salvage a free world set adrift. In this insightful challenge to elites, isolationists, and status-quo politics, Hegseth also channels personal experience—from the battlefield to the halls of Congress—to breathe gripping relevance into Roosevelt’s exhortation.

We are a country that is, in Roosevelt’s words, “far more conscious of its rights rather than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings.” Pete Hegseth shows how Americans can—and must—turn the ideals of Roosevelt’s speech into domestic civic action and international leadership. Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick. With this book, Pete Hegseth hits you over the head with that stick and asks: are you “in the arena” for the imperiled American experiment?

Pete’s a regular contributor on Fox, especially Fox & Friends and Outnumbered, so keep your eyes peeled there especially for him to discuss In the Arena. Be sure to check out the book endorsements on Pete’s website from Mark Levin, Oliver North, John Bolton, Rush Limbaugh, and many, many more.