The link takes you to another review of the book.
"Forms vs Platforms" is the essential theme of the book.
The military is certainly about forming, as Mona included in her review; “If you hear that someone attended Harvard,” Levin offered at an American Enterprise Institute forum, “you may conclude that he or she is smart. But if you hear that they attended the Naval Academy, you’ll probably conclude that this is a serious person.” I'd suggest "Fortitude" if you don't understand that distinction.
Sadly however, the Harvard graduate is only "smart" in a narrow, very specific set of "excellency in perfectly punching the ticket" way. They met a very specific set of criteria -- and NOT going outside of that box (lest they be "cancelled")! "Common Sense" is certainly not even related to that ticket -- the "winners" usually end up being "Excellent Sheep".
Levin has a good section on "beyond meritocracy" that describes how we got into a set of elites that are all about performance without depth, and often arrogant, isolated, and fragile.
The family is the ultimate most universal "form" as we all know (and have experienced), and is described in the book, it is terrible shape in our time. Levin doesn't really face how to beat that problem -- nor does he tell us how. He hints at it on page 202, when he talks about "devotion" ... devotion to work, devotion to our organization ("institution"). "It calls on us to pledge ourselves to an institution we belong to unabashedly".
Can this be possible without religion? Pretty much all of my study of culture gives a sad and wistful, but assumed to be impossible wish for a return to faith -- in the West, generally Christian faith. The assumption is that this is impossible "because of Darwin". Perhaps, impossible for man, bout with God, all things are possible!
Since Levin has largely written off religion -- although he does mention that there is a SMALL hopeful movement to more religious orthodoxy (Amy Coney Barrett would be an example) he largely just lists some possibilities for reform of institutions. Educational, political, civic, etc.
My view, documented in MANY blog posts is that "the institution(s)" must be very close to "God, family, community, country" in that order.
On page 194, he puts his finger on THE problem -- a conflict of worldviews. The progressive worldview assumes a human as fully formed, requiring only to be liberated from oppression to be free. Man is viewed as "basically good, noble, etc" ... Rousseau was one of the founders of this view. "Moral Believing Animals" covers the "we are all stuck in our own box" problem very we.ll.
The alternate view, best expressed by Christianity, views man as fallen, requiring redemption and the Holy Spirit to reach his potential -- grounded in a supporting family, church, community and nation. It sees man as "clay" to be moulded by these institutions, and in the process of moulding, to be part of larger institutions -- a university, a profession, a "party", service organizations, etc.
Yuval is not so specific as to use Christianity as an example of what is needed, but I see it as an excellent model -- naturally, as well documented in the book, also largely in tatters today.
So if you pull out the foundation of God, can you build on "SOME truths we hold be self evident"? I don't see how, given the fact that there are two models that are in extreme conflict. The left, with man as god, basically good, and able to build "heaven on earth" on his own, and the right, with man as fallen, requiring the help of God to move to a better, though far short of "heaven on earth" existence" in this mortal coil.
My study shows many thinkers seeing the problem of what we have wrought with the "man is god" movement in the last couple centuries. Most see us as at a crossroads, where the choices are a return to God as God, or a totalitarian state where man (the government) is god.
Do we even have that choice, or is it God's?