Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mearsheimer and Walt

Foreign policy books rarely cause controversy outside of academic or policy circles, but IR scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt ignited a firestorm with their Israel Policy and US Foreign Policy. The ADL's Abe Foxman wrote a book attacking Mearsheimer and Walt called the Deadliest Lies and essentially called them anti-Semites on Fresh Air. Other negative reviews come from the New Republic (via National Review!)

The author of my favorite foreign policy book, Special Providence, has a long review in Foreign Affairs, where he argues that the authors are not anti-Semites, but are wrong and have written a a bad book.

So what did they argue? I can't say for sure, as I haven't read it yet. As I understand it, they argue that a pro-Israel lobby forces the US into a relationship with Israel that runs counter to US interests. The heat seems to come from the first rather than the latter half.

If you like journal versions, read the London Review of Books article that serves as the basis for the book. I am picking up the book at the library today. They are speaking in Portland tonight, but you had to have bought tickets by yesterday to attend.

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