Wednesday, April 30, 2003

BOOK REVIEW

OF PARADISE AND POWER
America and Europe in the New World Order
By Robert Kagan

This book is a short read (103 pages), so for someone with ADD (yours truly) it was an easy one to blow through in one airplane ride to California.

I wish I'd read this when it was first published, just a couple of months ago. Why? Because Kagan lays out in very plain English why there is a growing chasm between the US and EU; why the concept of "the West" is something you may (probably should) hear less and less about over time, since the members of the club known as "the West" are, shall we say, not playing well with each other. And why there in fact may be no need for that concept anymore.

It brought into focus for me why the Europeans act as they do and why they see us as they do. I don't like their behavior any more for having read the book. I maybe detest some of their behaviors even more. But, somewhat like hearing that a career criminal was seriously abused as a child, you can understand why the behavior exists, whether you approve or not.

It also raises the serious questions about NATO, the UN and other world bodies which appear to be suffering from age and bureaucracy and, perhaps, irrelevance.

I give it four stars (out of five). Defintely worth the $10.80 (amazon.com).


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