Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

The Limits of Power -


Zebulen generously mailed me his book, The Limits of Power, The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich.  

This is a must-read book, beautifully and concisely written, jam-packed with what we know and need to know and need to remember every day and yet forget.   We seem to think we, this country, can go on as it has been doing without a wake-up call and change.   Common sense as to the use of money and the loss of life and the meaning of freedom for us and others has gone out the window.  

The author's son, Andrew John Bacevich, was a soldier, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.  Reading this, you see the mis-management, arrogance and ignorance that would have led to his death. He died in 2007, so you might imagine how the author feels about Bush and crew, but the military travesty is older than that.  The use of fear to fuel this country's march of domination precedes that,  though certainly the Bush administration took it to a painfully high arc.  This book looks at our "leaders" since WWII and especially since Reagan.  It is a book that will make you want to cry and yet we have to recognize what is going on and what truly leads to peace and the good of this country and the world.   

The author is a conservative historian and former military officer.  It is conservatively written and yet very clear about the changes that must be made.  It is hard not to wonder if it is too late, but I believe he does hold out a carrot of hope.  Reinhold Niebuhr is his guide in this book, a man who predicted what we see.  He ends quoting him in this final paragraph of the book.

"Thus did the tragedy of our age move inexorably toward its conclusion. "To the end of history," our prophet once wrote, "social orders will probably destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible." Clinging doggedly to the conviction that the rules to which other nations must submit don't apply, Americans appear determined to affirm Niebuhr's axiom of willful self-destruction."

President Carter told us the truth. Reagan regaled us with lies and put us into debt that Clinton did pull us out of, though he is no lily-white, but now, we have been plunged so deeply, one wonders how we can ever rise, and I continue to think optimistically because I must.

Read the book and pass it on.  This is a book to share.   Thank you, Zebulen!!

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