Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence and isolationism

It's Independence Day and it's finally looking as if it will be sunny all day, so we can really enjoy the pool. We have done some swimming the last couple of days, but not as much as we might have. Nonetheless it has been an enjoyable couple of days. Jen's brother's two daughters both have babies around year old and it has been our first opportunity to meet them. Both of us being suckers for babies . . .

Independence Day seems a good day to be reading Eric A. Nordlinger's 1995 book, "Isolationism Reconfigured." Nordlinger taught political science at Brown but died just before this book was published. I'm only on the second chapter, but so far very interesting if a mite academic sounding. It makes the case for an "American Strategy" of non-engagement, politically and militarily, outside a limited security sphere in North America, while also championing free trade and using an occasional embargo to express concern for human rights.

I think my job over the next year will be to write a similar book, but shorter, perhaps a touch polemical and designed for the general reader rather than for academics and specialists. I've already done a little work on it. I've only told a few people this plan, but now anybody who reads this blog knows and is welcome to nag me about progress.

Have fireworks on your Fourth!

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