19 April 2008

The Monster That Ate Itself

I have now read Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire by the pundit Chalmers Johnson.

It was hard! These are authoritative, scholarly books and correspondingly dense. Also, the sheer weight of the topic might bring you down. These two books are part of a trilogy and the final volume is Nemesis. You can get a feel for these books by reading an article I found at webdiary or I have posted a video to finish this post. Mr Johnson is an intellectual par excellence. I can't even pretend to summarise this stuff cogently - at least not for more than 30 seconds.

To take a break I went to fiction-land to read The Quiet American and Our Man in Havana, both by Graham Greene. What makes these both remarkable is the way they straddle the border of non-fiction and fiction. The Quiet American was a remarkably prescient work. I wouldn't describe Our Man in Havana as a comedy, but it is a good comedy of errors.

On Radio National I found an interesting speech by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes called The Three Trillion Dollar War.

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