Kissinger begins his book with a majestic rendering of ancient China that suggests that for thousands of years, China was different from the West. His contention, it seems to me, is that the emerging China still is different, with different goals than, say, the British Empire. He may be right. I hope he is. In the meantime, I am glad for the services of the American Navy and Air Force in particular. In later chapters, Kissinger is particularly interesting in recounting his relations with Chinese leaders.
"The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture," by dramatist David Mamet, has fetched my attention, and I am willing to recommend it as a splendid read, though probably not the most satisfactory reason for giving up on liberalism and joining the right. Ever since Whittaker Chambers, the journey to the right by leftists has been entertaining and at times moving, and Mamet's journey is no different. He has read the right books and formed the right conclusions. He writes with wit and a sense of irony, yet as he derives wisdom from both Friedrich Hayek and Glenn Beck, I think I shall await his further lucubrations on the matter to consider him a sage. Suffice to say, he is a great dramatist and I would like to get to know him better.
Finally, Andrew Roberts has a brilliant history of World War II, "The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War." I recommend it. I have in my library dozens of World War II histories -- from the very earliest, by Liddell Hart. Now all have been rendered curiosities or unfinished works by Roberts' stupendous history of the war in the theaters of Asia, Africa and Europe. He writes beautifully and brings the statesmen, generals and admirals -- and ordinary soldiers and sailors -- alive on the page. He left me thinking. What if in the place of Roosevelt and Churchill, we had Obama and Cameron in 1939. Obama really would have had to be the Messiah.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. His new book is "After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery."
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