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Posted May 3, 2000
A Disturbing and Provocative Work
The Coming Anarchy should be required reading for every citizen who wants to think deeply about the dangers and realities of the emerging world. It would be particularly helpful for members of Congress and would-be advisers to the next President to read this disturbing and provocative work and ponder deeply its warnings about the dangers of human tendencies toward violence, selfishness, and self deception. There is a good bit I would quarrel with in Kaplan's work (and I suspect he would disagree vehemently with some of my positions). Yet there is an informed literate intelligence and an experienced reality based reporting that combine to create one of the most interesting critiques of political correctness , the Clinton Administration's trivial superficiality and the Congress's neglect of the changing world that I have encountered. Any book that cites Joseph Conrad's Nostromo, Sir Moses Finley's Politics in the Ancient World, Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Thomas Hobbes, Henry Kissinger's A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822, Pul Rahe's Republics Ancient and Modern and Latife Takin Berji Kristin : Tales from the Garbage Hills, is worth looking at. When that book is written by someone who has reported from Afghanistan, sub-Saharan Africa, Bosnia and Kossovo among other places it is a book worth reading. When he raises profound questions about the assumptions of both our conservative and liberal elites and paints vivid pictures of dangers unimagined by a peaceful society sheltered by decades of safety then it is a work worth thinking about long and hard. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the challenges we will face in the next thirty years.
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Posted October 25, 2008
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