History Lesson

More
daydreambelievers.jpg

Fred Kaplan's Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power won't be in stores for a few months yet, but it's terrific stuff, mostly focused on how the disasters of the Bush foreign policy stem from Bush's bad ideas rather than some lack of "competence" and that what's needed to replace them isn't just better people, but better ideas. Some of it, though, is good old fashioned mocking of the dumb stuff Bush says and does. For example:

For several months afterward, as the insurgency morphed into sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, President Bush invoked the elections to dispute that anything of the sort was happening. "I hear a lot about 'civil war,'" he said at one press conference. "The Iraqis want a unified country. . . . Twelve million Iraqis votes. . . . It's an indication about the desire for people to live in a free society."

But it indicated no such thing. Had Bush looked at his own country's history, he would have seen that the election sporting the highest turnout ever, with 83 percent of the eligible population voting, was the election of 1860 -- the election right before the American Civil War.

Get it? At any rate, I'm afraid you may buy only one Eric Nelson-edited book about American foreign policy published by John Wiley & Sons in 2008, and if so I want to make sure it's my book and not Kaplan's that you buy. So whatever else you do, don't buy Fred Kaplan's book! But if you can borrow a review copy from a blogger friend or something, it'd be well worth your time to read it. Might even whet your appetite for someone else's book....

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In