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The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America's Big Cities
The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America's Big Cities
von Fred Siegel
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,75

4.0 von 5 Sternen The truth can hurt, 30. Juli 2000
This is a story - a classic tragedy, if you will. The rise of the big cities. The fall of the big cities. And finally, the promise of their redemption. Fred Siegel's book identifies the source of urban America's decline: their enthusiastic embrace of Sixties Liberalism, not only in personal behavior but as public policy. In 1965, America was in the midst of a midlife crisis. Strong and self-rghteous for so long, the country began to entangle itself in self-doubt. The origins could be tracked to the original Civil Rights Movement which rightfully forced middle-class America to confront their own hypocricy and prejudice. The aims of the original Civil Rights leaders was not to overthrow American society. Rather, it was to demand that we enforce our Constitutional laws and stop mocking the principles in the Declaration of the Independence. Men like Dr. King understood the promise and beauty of America. The last thing they wanted to do was undermine it. But five days after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Los Angeles erupted in a race riot. Large sections of Watts were burned to the ground and dozens were killed. In 1967 and 1968, deadly race riots broke out in Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, and other urban centers. Middle class families who lived in the city couldn't understand what was happening. Many of them fled to the suburbs; the so-called "white flight." But most of them stayed - at least initially. At the end of the 1960s, the question that urban leaders faced, writes Siegel, was "how do we deal with the twin problems of race and poverty?" One option was to stick with the past solution of cultural assimilation and private sector advancement. But that wasn't good enough anymore. Instead, a combination of intellectuals, minority activists, big-spending pols, and "compassionate" voters took a large and unprecedented gamble. The millions of black families that had crowded into northern cities since World War II would be the guinea pigs in a great liberal experiment. Blacks and other racial minorities would no longer be encouraged to assimilate into American society. Afterall, the middle-class lifestyle was "sick" and "guilty." In a complete reversal of Dr. King's dream, blacks would be expected to create their own norms, values, and institutions. While this may seem to be a perverse triumph of individualism, it was a unique form; it would be what Siegel labels "dependent individualism." In other words, while city residents would be expected to unshackle themselves of moral restraints, they would also do it at taxpayer expense. Poverty, the liberal activists charged, was a problem of money - people didn't have enough of it. It some cases that was true. But in other cases it wasn't true. Unfortunately, welfare payments came to subsidize a whole dysfunctional subculture. In the 1970s and 1980s, the "riot ideology" impregnated a large majority of city voters. Even though the large cities were in an inexplicable decline, government leaders insisted that the road to Utopia could be reached with even more liberal policies: ever larger "social programs" including job training, public housing, and drug treatment. And even looser moral standards including drug users and prostitutes crowding city parks and aggressive panhandlers harassing city streets. In 1992, after the trillion-dollar "War on Poverty" and a crass civil culture that had dismissed every moral restraint as a need for therapy, Los Angeles erupted into violence again. Siegel says that these riots, which were even deadlier than the Watts upheaval of 1965, fundamentally discredited urban liberalism. After reading his book, the only question the reader can ask is: "What took so long?" In the late 1990s, mayors like Rudy Giuliani of New York and Richard Riordan in Los Angeles have cut crime and the size of the Welfare State. They've proven to be very popular and successful. But resistance to their policies remain, especially in the intellectual class. In recent years, the cities have experienced an "Indian summer." Whether this climate will mature into a "new spring" is far from certain. An engaged citizenry, alerted to the historical mistakes of liberalism but still enchanted by its romanticism, hold the key to our future.


Tory Radicalism: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and the Transformation of Modern Britain, 1979-1997
Tory Radicalism: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and the Transformation of Modern Britain, 1979-1997
von Earl A. Reitan
  Taschenbuch

3.0 von 5 Sternen A fair portrait of modern British politics, 29. Juli 2000
I came into this book with a limited background in British politics. Thanks to Professor Reitan, I now have a more complete perspective on America's closest ally. In the preface, the author claims that the Conservative ministries of Margaret Thatcher and John Major (1979-1997) were nothing short of a political revolution. After over 200 pages, the professor's point is well-proven. When Mrs. Thatcher took office at the close of the 1970s, the socialist consensus was in shambles. The British economy was not only overtaxed, overregulated, and unproductive but it was at the mercy of powerful and militaristic labor unions. Thatcher was the first Western leader to break with the socialist past, heralding the rise of not only Ronald Reagan and Helmut Kohl but even Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. Thatcher reapplied conservative principles to British government. She spurred the private sector by cutting taxes and government spending, she doused the threat of inflation with a strict money supply, and she privatized key British industries. These policies were continued and strengthened by her successor, John Major. When the Labour Party returned to power in 1997, the Conservative consensus was firmly entrenched in British culture. The new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, could only promise to tweak the system, not reshape it. Professor Reitan gives an extremely fair and concise account of this Conservative transformation. He presents the reader with both the positive and negative aspects of Conservative rule but isn't afraid to remark that - all things considered - "Tory Radicalism" was remarkably successful. When Thatcher left office in 1990, it was hard to prove that the return to conservatism had been a political or economic success. Economic growth - especially in the job sector - was marginal and many social indices like crime and drug use - remained high. But it is important to remember that is far easier to move from a capitalist to a socialist economy than vice versa (just see the Soviet Union, for example). To restart the engines of capitalism, you have to do more than just destroy political interest groups and bloated bureaucracies who have a stake in the status quo. You must encourage private citizens to think freely and responsibly again; they need to rely less on a "Nanny State" and start to think creatively, engage in risk-taking, and work hard. Most importantly, to switch from socialism to capitalism, you need a strong leader who won't reverse course and will see the project through. Great Britain, with Margaret Thatcher at the helm, was fortunate to meet that third requirement. It is true that the 1980s were a painful decade for many but by the mid-1990s - with the conservative revolution largely complete - Britain was in an admirable position. Not only do the British have the healthiest economy in Europe but arguably the strongest economy in the world following the United States. Today, the two capitalist superpowers, the US and Britain, enjoy low unemployment, even lower inflation, budget surpluses, and a dynamic private sector spurred by globalization and information technology. For Britain, this is largely a product of Thatcher and Major (and in the US, of Ronald Reagan). In 1980, the success of Britain and the US was uncertain, even unlikely. It took a reapplication of conservative principles and bold leadership to make it happen. Is it a coincidence that the economies that underwent a Conservative transformation earliest and most completely (the US and Britain) are now the world's economic leaders? It is absolutely no coincidence. Other European nations that are far more trapped in the entropy of socialism (like France and Italy) face a painful future unless they take bold action soon. Where is the French version of Thatcher? Where is the Italian version of Reagan? Those nations are still waiting. In the meantime, the challenge for the US and Britain is to retain a good memory; to not let the mistaken ideologies of the past return in new and more "compassionate" forms. Professor Reitan's important new book will show you why.


Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City
Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City
von Andrew Kirtzman
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen A successful politician introduced by a successful author, 17. Juli 2000
If you're from New York City and you track city politics, then you're certainly familiar with Andrew Kirtzman. Kirtzman, who is a political reporter for New York 1 News, demonstrates an impressive grasp of both urban politics and personal drama with his first book, "Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City." The book commences with Giuliani's unsuccessful race for mayor in 1989 and concludes with his stunning decision to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race just months ago. In that ten-year span, Kirtzman takes us through a roller-coaster ride of New York history. On November 7, 1989 New Yorkers elected David Dinkins as its 106th mayor over Rudy Giuliani. Two days later the Berlin Wall fell. Half a world a way, East Germans were awakening to the failure and misery of socialism. New Yorkers, it seemed, still didn't get it. The Dinkins era confirmed what most New Yorkers already feared: the City was an unmanageable wasteland. Tax-and-spend budgets. Racial demagoguery. Criminals ruling the streets. Mass incivility. In 1993, however, after four years of misrule, the City had a chance to reverse its mistake. The mayoral election pitted Dinkins and Giuliani against each other once again. This time, the former federal prosecutor triumphed. On that same day, New Jersey voters sent tax-and-spend Governor Jim Florio packing as well. Quietly, Northeast voters were heralding the Republican Revolution of 1994. The late 1990s would see the whole nation turn its back on liberalism. Rudy Giuliani was the first and most able practitioner of this New Politics. His first city budget combined spending cuts with tax cuts. For the first time in recent memory, New York would spend less money the next year than it did the previous year. The message to the business community was equally clear: Stay! We want you here and we'll create an environment where you can thrive. Giuliani challenged the bureaucracies and their union chiefs and rolled past them. He broke up the Mob and tightened the requirements for welfare. Most importantly, he teamed with Police Chief Bill Bratton in a new, tougher approach to crime-fighting. The results after just four years were staggering: crime in the city had been cut in half, hundreds of thousands of people had moved from the welfare rolls to the private sector, school test scores went up, annual budget surpluses became surpluses. In 1997, New York voters overwhelming re-elected "Hizzonor." Since then, however, Rudy hasn't led such a charmed life. The city's "quality of life" statistics are still incredibly impressive. But his reputation has been tarnished by both his broken marriage and some police misconduct cases. The 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo and the later killing of Patrick Dorismond were highly unfortunate but they were also accidents. Giuliani's critics conveniently forget that under Rudy, police murder has fallen in half from the "compassionate" days of the Dinkins administration. When the ball dropped in Times Square on New Years Day 2000, New York was once again the capital of the world. The man who deserves most of the credit is Rudy Giuliani. No question about it. He may not win a personality contest. But he doesn't have to. He is simply the most successful mayor in New York City history and one of the most impressive politicians in the nation today. What must disturb New York residents is: Who will replace Rudy? He is required by law to step down as mayor in 2001. Will New Yorkers elect a man, who in his rush to show "compassion," dismantle Rudy Giuliani's legacy? Will the crime laws be relaxed? Will the welfare requirements be eased? Will the unions return to their glory? The answer, sadly, is "Most likely." Rudy Giuliani is an awesome mayor but every great leader must groom a successor who will ensure his legacy. In this one crucial category, Giuliani has proved to be mortal. But make no mistake: The Big Apple is Back -- thanks to Rudy Giuliani.


The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
von Thomas L. Friedman
  Taschenbuch

0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tom Friedman was born to write, 8. Juli 2000
Like his earlier book, "From Beirut to Jerusalem," Tom Friedman displays a mastery over his subject like few authors. In "The Lexus and the Olive Tree," the conquered subject material is economic globalization. What makes Mr. Friedman such a unique voice on this topic is his career as a foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times. Over the past few years, Mr. Friedman has traveled the world many times over, collecting first-hand accounts of how globalization works, who benefits from it, and its multiple consequences. His understanding of this issue radiates through scores of personal narratives and anecdotes which not only raise the reader's awareness but seriously educate him on a subject of immense importance. At the beginning and conclusion of his book, Mr. Friedman claims that he is no an advocate of globalization, per se. I do not doubt the author's sincerity when stating this belief. The balance of information, however, tilts heavily in favor of globalization. That is because, in sum, globalization has been a largely positive development. In the last two decades, many Third World governments have relaxed the grip they possessed on their nations' economies and opened themselves to the ideas and industry of the West. As a result, these nations have enjoyed an unprecedented explosion of wealth. Many of them are experimenting with political democracy for the first time as well. That is not a coincidence. But the impact of globalization extends far beyond Seoul, Bangkok, and Mexico City. The United States has also been a prime beneficiary of globalization. The growth of world trade, combined with the adaption of information technologies, has been responsible for America's economic resurgence in the last decade. Near the end of the book, however, the author starts to wax sentimental. He expresses his fear that in this burst of affluence we will lose our "olive trees" - our communities, our traditions, our values. Mr. Friedman need not worry. What makes capitalism so revolutionary is not that it destroys "olive trees." Rather, it creates new "olive trees" of our own free choice. We choose our community; we choose our faith. It is no coincidence that the while the United States is the greatest engine of capitalism, it is also one of the world's most religious countries. And it is not just a diverse faith - Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims - but an intensely personal faith where people choose to make God a central part of their daily life. I also have to disagree with Mr. Friedman on one final point. I do not share his view that the globalization process is inevitable. In the early 1960s, the twin pillars of democracy and free-market capitalism had reached an incredible level of success and popular acceptance. Within a few years, however, national leaders managed to undermine both systems. Welfare crippled the national economy while affirmative action created needless animosity between the races. As we enter the twenty-first century - and as the challenges to globalization mount - we must not go back to the past. We must not reverse the process that gave us this burst of wealth and freedom out of some misplaced guilt. Our sympathy for the poor can not delude us into stripping them of their sole opportunity for advancement. The recent anarchist demonstrations in Seattle and Washington should give us pause. Hopefully those protestors will read Tom Friedman's fine book and take a more informed perspective.


Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
von John Mueller
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen This book should be in every poly sci classroom, 1. Juli 2000
If a friend told me that he was flying to a deserted island in the South Pacific to start a new country, first I would tell him he was crazy. Next, I would give him this book, insist that he read it, and use it as a blueprint for a successful society. Mr. Mueller's book is an excellent defense of both capitalism and democracy, the twin pillars of our American society. The author points out that while neither system is perfect, both are superior to any other economic method or political institution. His book is filled with interesting facts and fascinating insights. For example, Mr. Mueller insists that capitalism, far from extinguishing virtue, actually encourages it. This is because businessmen who treat their customers and co-workers with fairness and compassion have an economic advantage over their brooding colleagues. This seems counterintuitive but is born out by evidence. Service was especially poor and rude in former communist countries. Today, American companies from McDonald's to K-Mart, much maligned by the press, are teaching benevolent business practices to Third World nations from Africa to the Orient. Mr. Mueller also makes the interesting point that economics is approaching a level of sophistication similar to medicine at the turn of the twentieth century. Today, for the first time ever, economists can offer truly effective remedies for policy makers. Such a development, if true, promises an era of truly spectacular growth. The author also makes the sobering point that capitalism is a poor tonic for increasing personal happiness. Money has never substituted for family, faith, and meaningful work. Nor will it in the future. When it comes to democracy, Mr. Mueller believes that we expect too much from our political process. The 1994 health care debate, to some commentators, is an example of our failed democracy. In contrast, Mr. Mueller suggests that this episode proves the resiliency of our institutions. Legislation was proposed and debated, constituencies were mobilized and addressed, and the outcome was largely favorable. Democracy can be messy but it is incredibly responsive and self-correcting. It is the only political system that provides the average citizen with the instruments of political power. As more and more nations embrace the virtue of capitalism and democracy, colossal progress can be made in alleviating poverty, ensuring human rights, and achieving self-actualization. There is no realistic alternative to democracy or capitalism on the horizon. Nor should we want one.


Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America
Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America
von Christopher J Matthews
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 24,95

4.0 von 5 Sternen 25 Years of History Becomes One Personal Rivalry, 1. Juli 2000
I am very impressed with Chris Matthews's narrative on the political careers of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. His book is well-researched, well-written, and his conclusions are well-proven. At first, I was suspicious of Mr. Matthews's claim that their jousting was "the rivalry that shaped postwar America." But in completing the book, I can appreciate that Kennedy and Nixon were the American version of Disraeli and Gladstone. They both served in the South Pacific during World War II and were elected to Congress in the same year, 1946. Nixon ran as a "pragmatic liberal." Kennedy ran as a "fighting conservative." Excuse me? But beneath the contradictory rhetoric lay an ideological similarity: a passionate hate of communism and a deep suspicion of the New Deal, Eastern Establishment. American leaders during the Cold War, they rallied their nation against Communist threats at home and abroad. They further overthrew the old Washington rules of political cordiality and fairness. To substitute, the first leaders of the G.I. Generation created a winner-take-all political culture that forever changed the Beltway. Kennedy started as the more ruthless pol. His early political career was filled with charges of bribery, vote-stealing, and other low-ball maneuvers. Nixon, of course, would not be outdone. His relentless pursuit of Alger Hiss gave him his first political break and cemented his fear that the Elite was out to break him. Similar in political style and ideology, Kennedy and Nixon became genuine friends in the 1950s. This surprised me but Mr. Matthews documents this point prodigiously. Nixon was invited to the Kennedy wedding in 1953. When Kennedy was near death in 1954, Nixon was in tears. "Oh God, don't let him die." Jackie Kennedy told friends that Jack admired Nixon more than any other man he knew. What forever changed the relationship was the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy beat Nixon by an incredibly narrow margin and the loser was forever convinced that the election was stolen. Mr. Matthews emphasizes the role of "imagery" in the 1960 campaign. All things being equal, Nixon should have topped Kennedy that year. But Kennedy's good looks and aristocratic style contrasted favorably with Nixon's common looks and straight talk. When Kennedy was assassinated, the manufactured mythology of "Camelot" masked an average presidency. When Nixon was finally elected president in 1968, it was the ideal of Camelot that haunted him throughout his term. No matter what Nixon did, he could never measure up to Kennedy in the eyes of the American people. The Eastern Establishment viewed Nixon especially distastefully; they saw him as an illegitimate president. Nixon knew that he was in a constant struggle against the liberals who carried the torch for Camelot. Nixon was determined to use every weapon in his arsenal to save himself and his presidency - constitution de damned. Mr. Matthews is especially fluent in describing the step-by-step political destruction of Richard Nixon. The Kennedy-Nixon rivalry ends in 1974 with Nixon's resignation in disgrace. Kennedy had bested Nixon one last time. But in a true sense, both men were equal winners. It was their Cold War zealotry and political ruthlessness that defined Washington after 1960. Our communist-free world is largely their child. Our cynical political culture is largely their creature too. For better and for worse.


The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
von Thomas L. Friedman
  Taschenbuch

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tom Friedman was born to write, 1. Juli 2000
Like his earlier book, "From Beirut to Jerusalem," Tom Friedman displays a mastery over his subject like few authors. In "The Lexus and the Olive Tree," the conquered subject material is economic globalization. What makes Mr. Friedman such a unique voice on this topic is his career as a foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times. Over the past few years, Mr. Friedman has traveled the world many times over, collecting first-hand accounts of how globalization works, who benefits from it, and its multiple consequences. His understanding of this issue radiates through scores of personal narratives and anecdotes which not only raise the reader's awareness but seriously educate him on a subject of immense importance. At the beginning and conclusion of his book, Mr. Friedman claims that he is no an advocate of globalization, per se. I do not doubt the author's sincerity when stating this belief. The balance of information, however, tilts heavily in favor of globalization. That is because, in sum, globalization has been a largely positive development. In the last two decades, many Third World governments have relaxed the grip they possessed on their nations' economies and opened themselves to the ideas and industry of the West. As a result, these nations have enjoyed an unprecedented explosion of wealth. Many of them are experimenting with political democracy for the first time as well. That is not a coincidence. But the impact of globalization extends far beyond Seoul, Bangkok, and Mexico City. The United States has also been a prime beneficiary of globalization. The growth of world trade, combined with the adaption of information technologies, has been responsible for America's economic resurgence in the last decade. Near the end of the book, however, the author starts to wax sentimental. He expresses his fear that in this burst of affluence we will lose our "olive trees" - our communities, our traditions, our values. Mr. Friedman need not worry. What makes capitalism so revolutionary is not that it destroys "olive trees." Rather, it creates new "olive trees" of our own free choice. We choose our community; we choose our faith. It is no coincidence that the while the United States is the greatest engine of capitalism, it is also one of the world's most religious countries. And it is not just a diverse faith - Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims - but an intensely personal faith where people choose to make God a central part of their daily life. I also have to disagree with Mr. Friedman on one final point. I do not share his view that the globalization process is inevitable. In the early 1960s, the twin pillars of democracy and free-market capitalism had reached an incredible level of success and popular acceptance. Within a few years, however, national leaders managed to undermine both systems. Welfare crippled the national economy while affirmative action created needless animosity between the races. As we enter the twenty-first century - and as the challenges to globalization mount - we must not go back to the past. We must not reverse the process that gave us this burst of wealth and freedom out of some misplaced guilt. Our sympathy for the poor can not delude us into stripping them of their sole opportunity for advancement. The recent anarchist demonstrations in Seattle and Washington should give us pause. Hopefully those protestors will read Tom Friedman's fine book and take a more informed perspective.


Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
von John Mueller
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen This book should be in every poly sci class, 26. Juni 2000
If a friend told me that he was flying to a deserted island in the South Pacific and starting a new country, first I would tell him he was crazy. Next, I would give him this book, insist that he read it, and use it as a blueprint for a successful society. Mr. Mueller's book is an excellent defense of both capitalism and democracy, the twin pillars of our American society. The author points out that while neither system is perfect, both are superior to any other economic method or political institution. His book is filled with interesting facts and fascinating insights. For example, Mr. Mueller insists that capitalism, far from extinguishing virtue, actually encourages it. This is because businessmen who treat their customers and co-workers with fairness and compassion have an economic advantage over their brooding colleagues. This seems counterintuitive but is born out by evidence. Service was especially poor and rude in former communist countries. Today, American companies from McDonald's to K-Mart, much maligned by the press, are teaching benevolent business practices to Third World nations from Africa to the Orient. Mr. Mueller also makes the interesting point that economics is approaching a level of sophistication similar to medicine at the turn of the twentieth century. Today, for the first time ever, economists can offer truly effective remedies for policy makers. Such a development, if true, promises an era of truly spectacular growth. The author also makes the sobering point that capitalism is a poor tonic for increasing personal happiness. Money has never substituted for family, faith, and meaningful work. Nor will it in the future. When it comes to democracy, Mr. Mueller believes that we expect too much from our political process. The 1994 health care debate, to some commentators, is an example of our failed democracy. In contrast, Mr. Mueller suggests that this episode proves the resiliency of our institutions. Legislation was proposed and debated, constituencies were mobilized and addressed, and the outcome was largely favorable. Democracy can be messy but it is incredibly responsive and self-correcting. It is the only political system that provides the average citizen with the instruments of political power. As more and more nations embrace the virtue of capitalism and democracy, colossal progress can be made in alleviating poverty, ensuring human rights, and achieving self-actualization. There is no realistic alternative to democracy or capitalism on the horizon. Nor should we want one.


Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America
Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America
von Christopher J Matthews
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 24,95

4.0 von 5 Sternen Twenty-five years of history as two personal journeys, 25. Juni 2000
I am very impressed with Chris Matthews's narrative on the political careers of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. His book is well-researched, well-written, and his conclusions are well-proven. At first, I was suspicious of Mr. Matthews's claim that their jousting was "the rivalry that shaped postwar America." But in completing the book, I can appreciate that Kennedy and Nixon were the American version of Disraeli and Gladstone. They both served in the South Pacific during World War II and were elected to Congress in the same year, 1946. Nixon ran as a "pragmatic liberal." Kennedy ran as a "fighting conservative." Excuse me? But beneath the contradictory rhetoric lay an ideological similarity: a passionate hate of communism and a deep suspicion of the New Deal, Eastern Establishment. American leaders during the Cold War, they rallied their nation against Communist threats at home and abroad. They further overthrew the old Washington rules of political cordiality and fairness. To substitute, the first leaders of the G.I. Generation created a winner-take-all political culture that forever changed the Beltway. Kennedy started as the more ruthless pol. His early political career was filled with charges of bribery, vote-stealing, and other low-ball maneuvers. Nixon, of course, would not be outdone. His relentless pursuit of Alger Hiss gave him his first political break and cemented his fear that the Elite was out to break him. Similar in political style and ideology, Kennedy and Nixon became genuine friends in the 1950s. This surprised me but Mr. Matthews documents this point prodigiously. Nixon was invited to the Kennedy wedding in 1953. When Kennedy was near death in 1954, Nixon was in tears. "Oh God, don't let him die." Jackie Kennedy told friends that Jack admired Nixon more than any other man he knew. What forever changed the relationship was the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy beat Nixon by an incredibly narrow margin and the loser was forever convinced that the election was stolen. Mr. Matthews emphasizes the role of "imagery" in the 1960 campaign. All things being equal, Nixon should have topped Kennedy that year. But Kennedy's good looks and aristocratic style contrasted favorably with Nixon's common looks and straight talk. When Kennedy was assinated, the manufactured mythology of "Camelot" masked an average presidency. When Nixon was finally elected president in 1968, it was the ideal of Camelot that haunted him throughout his term. No matter what Nixon did, he could never measure up to Kennedy in the eyes of the American people. The Eastern Establishment viewed Nixon especially distastefully; they saw him as an illegitimate president. Nixon knew that he was in a constant struggle against the liberals who carried the torch for Camelot. Nixon was determined to use every weapon in his arsenal to save himself and his presidency - constitution de damned. Mr. Matthews is especially fluent in describing the step-by-step political destruction of Richard Nixon. The Kennedy-Nixon rivalry ends in 1974 with Nixon's resignation in disgrace. Kennedy had bested Nixon one last time. But in a true sense, both men were equal winners. It was their Cold War zealotry and political ruthlessness that defined Washington after 1960. Our communist-free world is largely their child. Our cynical political culture is largely their creature too. For better and for worse.


What Nietzsche Really Said
What Nietzsche Really Said
von Kathleen M. Higgins
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen And He Had A Lot to Say, 31. Mai 2000
Few philosophers have been so widely read and yet so incredibly misunderstood as Friedrich Nietzsche. Many people have used Nietzsche's words to advance their own agendas. Hitler was supposedly a fan even though the philosopher was a staunch opponent of anti-Semitism and would have found the Third Reich abhorrent. Many atheists twist Nietzsche's remark that "God is dead" into an endorsement of nihilism when in truth, the German's writings are full of joy and spirit. Clearly, the misinterpretation of Nietzsche's words over the past century makes a book that synthesizes his ideas an absolute necessity. This is that book. The authors have much enthusiasm for Nietzsche's writings and their feelings spill over into the reader. They begin by refuting "thirty rumors" that swirl around the postmodernist. These include accusations that Nietzsche was a misogynist, an alcoholic, and drove students to murder. They are all dismissed. Mr. Solomon and Ms. Higgins go on to explore Nietzsche's critique of other philosophers and include a list of his heroes and villains. The strongest section of the book illuminates "Nietzsche's virtues." Here, the German's "life-affirming" philosophy is explained in detail. If ever there was a man ahead of his times, it was Nietzsche. Over a century ago, he anticipated a profound crisis in morality. He recognized that the old religious institutions were losing their credibility and influence. With their decline would come the ascent of scientific materialism. This new system, however, is a poor instrument for creating morality and virtue. Nietzsche offers his students an alternative: a morality from "within;" a perspective that sees life as worth living for its own sake and cultivating a character written with "style." Nietzsche is a living voice that sees life as a joy, encouraging us to treat every moment as such. That is what Nietzsche really said.


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