lunedì, agosto 28, 2006

Overblow

So I’m reading Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, and it’s pretty whatever and all of that. This is from the author who wrote All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, which I unqualifiedly enjoyed a few months ago. Overthrow has the same themes in it, about how clumsy regime changes are worse than no regime changes in terms of advantages for the dominant culture, not just morally but in terms of physical and economic security.

I guess the reason Overthrow isn’t all that fascinating to me is that Kinzer’s language does get a little emotional and moralist-y while pushing this point when I want cold hard facts, talking heads, things to beat down the unrighteous with, et cetera. That girly stuff was fine in All the Shah’s Men since there's more space for point-and-click facts in a dedicated book, but Overthrow is a 322-page survey of more than a dozen regime changes and there’s not the room for Kinzer to talk about American’s great and abused moral qualities as much as he does. Then it feels messy when such an ambitious project needs surgical precision.

Anyways, maybe it’s my problem for starting with All the Shah’s Men and then going back to a more general book. It has struck me Overthrow would be a good primer specifically for Americans who hadn’t been educated to figure out why essentially everyone kind of hates them. And I am learning new things, of course. Now I understand Puerto Rico and Hawaii’s relationship with the mainland United States a little better, and the mess that was United Fruit, and things like that. Anyways. It’s worth a read on a rainy afternoon, I guess.

5 commenti:

Melbine ha detto...

I like your title in relation to the book!

I should probably read this book to back myself up a bit more when speaking about the States instead of just making anti-American comments with nothing to back it up...

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Oh, that's a good idea actually. This book would be good for that, too. I mean, we all have a sort of vague sense that Hawaii isn't really like the rest of the United States and there's probably some twisted colonial doohickey involved, but this book discusses not only what the doohickey was but also the debate back home in the U.S. from the time they got rid of the queen about the morality of what they were doing.

So it'll give you some material to lay into people with but hopefully help cut down on the generalized anti-American sentiments. Even as it would inform Americans why everyone else is anti-American.

Melbine ha detto...

I think it would be nice if the generalized anti-American sentiments were cut down. I've realized (it's helped to get to know Sugarplum's fiancé) that many, many of them are wonderful people who are similar to us. Like always, it's the bad apples in the bunch that ruin it for everyone else.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Well . . . some of thier bad apples are at the highest level of governance, religion and finance, so it can't help but ruin it a little harder than it often does.

disa ha detto...
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