I am writing this review as an unashamed liberal (card-carrying member of the ACLU) and someone who, despite Coulter's assertions, does really love my country. As a history teacher, I have also spent a fair amount of time thinking about the political traditions of this country. The changing arguments between liberals and conservatives has been basic to this tradition and when either of these mainstreams has become too dominant or has stopped listening to their opponents, the results have been damaging. By dismissing liberals as a group (as if THEY all think the same way any more than conservatives do), portraying them as anti-American and even as, well, TRAITORS, she is poisoning the political well of this discussion by encouraging her conservative readers to question the motives of anyone who disagrees with them.
I believe that if we can't have a healthy discourse within which people can disagree about difficult, complex issues like the proper response to terrorism, without resorting to tactics of the kind that this book is filled with, we are in deep trouble as a nation.
I already knew something about the events that Kinzer describes here, but he tells the tale in a captivating fashion with rich detail and excellent historical background. He presents his conclusions in a balanced way, but his case against this American involvement is very compelling and makes me shudder when I consider the unintended consequences that could result from our latest Gulf adventure. This as the stated intended consequence of a stable, democratic, and friendly Iraq is looking more and more like a pipe dream turning into a nightmare. Truman emerges from this story as a real hero with the longer view of the dangers while various British and American leaders (particularly the Dulles brothers) are shown to be blinded by their own arrogance and in the end brought about incalculable harm.
An entralling account of genome research which takes an admirably impartial view towards the different forces (and people) that clash in this story. This book should be of interest to a wide variety of people including those wondering how the technological revolutions discussed here will work out in a more historical perspective. HIghly recommended!
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