Saturday, April 07, 2007

Books you don't have to read, part 2, Terror and Liberalism

In fact it might be an idea to read this one. It is about the most influential book for those on the pro-war liberal 'left'. But early on the Berman gives a hint of what the reader can expect. In the preface to the paperback edition he describes how first publication prompted two questions: 'So what do you think now - given the many astounding and terrible events that are lately taking place?' (an unlikely form of words, but anyway) and 'This book of yours - where does it fit on the political spectrum, on the left or the right?' These two questions came at him 'from everywhere at once', from the audience at bookstore events, from press coverage, from the internet. And, Berman adds:

Old friends stopped me on the sidewalk, their kindly faces wrinkled into puzzled expressions.

Who talks about their friends like that? He sounds like an enlightened landowner trying to reassure a group of confused and superstitious peasants.

Incidentally, if you have read Berman or are interested in the debate his book provoked, check out this. There are seven sections in all.

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