Saturday, February 20, 2010

Three Shots Against Empire

  • If you've enjoyed listening to Gore Vidal speak, you'll enjoy his Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated, as the same sarcastic contemptuousness is carried over the page. The author shares insights from his "up-close view of the death struggle between the American republic, whose defender I am, and the American Global Empire, our old republic's enemy." The book is a compilation of previously published articles, most interesting among them The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh. The weakest part of the book is an inexplicably included essay denouncing a Southern Baptist boycott of Disney.

  • John Perkins's The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World is an entertaining read, but it fails to live up to its title. A better title would have been Some Anecdotes of the American Empire. It offers useful insights into the thinking of the imperialists, who often come from idealistic, left-leaning backgrounds. The "How to Change the World" is the weakest part of the book, as it merely suggests in essence making wiser consumer choices.

  • Patrick J. Buchanan's State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America might seem an unlikely choice for this list, at least less likely than his A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny, but the book takes on the latter part of the "invade the world, invite the world" neoconservative/neoliberal program. Most notable is how the "racist" author repeatedly demonstrates that our Black fellow citizens ("We are two races, one nationality," he reminds us on many occasions) are hurt most by both legal and illegal immigration, and are the demographic group most opposed to it. The book suffers from occasional weak arguments by example; the case against Canadian multiculturalism, for example, is limited to a single preposterous incident in which Muslims were arrested for plotting to storm parliament and behead the prime minister.
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    Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

    Vidal wrote a book on on the Founding Fathers that was absolutely stunning. One of the most insightful discussions of the Founders that I have read -- and he was able to complete his discussion in under 200 pages.

    2:09 AM  
    Blogger The Western Confucian said...

    Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look into. I've been looking to read something interesting on the Founders.

    8:59 PM  

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