Delighted that at least one reader will pick up a copy of Mearsheimer and Walt and actually read it. I had ordered an advance copy at my local B & N before it was released, and then during a visit found the stock person putting 20 or so copies on the shelf about a week before the announced release. But because of advance reviews, they advanced the release date. Signed on to Josh's place after coming home with book in bag, and there were already about a hundred folk ready to bash the book -- and they could not have possibly read it. I recommend reading it before making a judgment.
Next Book -- Kevin Phillips on Theocracy. Perhaps his dedication says it all, "...dedicated to the millions of Republicans, past and present and lapsed. who have opposed the Bush Dynasty and the disenlightenment in the 2000 and the 2004 elections."
Disenlightenment; that is a profoundly important invented word -- Thanks Kevin.
Actually I have been a reader of Phillips since the early 1970's. If one remembers the Emerging Republican Majority, he invented the Dayton Ohio Suburban woman who had a husband who was a tool and die maker, and had several children, and they were in the midst of discovering that there was no future for tool and die makers at National Cash Register. Well -- that woman was my former back door neighbor, and I had added to my account for my year in Europe by babysitting her kids over several years. Skilled labor was the first to be roughed off during the conversion to rust belt status -- so I have always understood Phillips. (In fact my back door neighbor who became a Reagan Democrat, and not so obviously blamed race for her problems, is indeed someone I disagree with, but understand.) But in "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century," Kevin Phillips asks us to understand much more than the archtype of my backdoor neighbor of the late 1960's. In fact you actually have to read a couple of other Phillips books to understand his points. In fact, I doubt if "American Theocracy" comprehends without an understanding of his earlier work, "The Cousins' War." In my mind Phillips achieved "read and seriously consider status" when I thought he aptly described my former babysitting customer in the late 50's, as he described her in the late 60's about when National Cash Register not so gradually no longer needed any tool and dye makers, because cash registers depended not on gears and springs, but on chips, and backyard neighbors became rust belt victims. While Reagan may have appealed to these folk (and he did --they voted for him) when I finally went back to visit I found them holding down four low skilled part time jobs, but unable to manage an education for their children, and one was quite talented. Phillips accurately predicted what Nixon's politics and policy should be (Southern Strategy and racial politics) -- but he sure as hell did not offer much to his respondants. Which is how I read him now.
Essentially, Phillips rips Republicans from Nixon through GWB through their hide, largely because they did not comprehend that the Oil was a commodity that was running out, and they had no idea how to replace the asset. He argues that they thought it (and related power afterall) could be turned into a financial asset where the US would dominate, and they failed to listen to alternative views.
In essence, Phillips suggests that into this failure, the Republicans introduced the dimension of fundamentalist and individualist salvation religion.
And on that point, we will later take up this review of books.