Pandemic Rereads is one of my lockdown projects. Over the next few months I have set myself the goal of going through my study bookshelves in search of books that I have not read in a while. These are books I don’t regularly use in my research or teaching, and so they cry out to be reappraised. I do not claim to be an expert on these books, so I am sure that I am missing many of the nuances in the texts that have been picked up by real experts. Hopefully, though, there is value in casting a fresh pair of eyes over a text that we think we know.
Today I post my thoughts on rereading Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. This is a book I have not read since the first year of my PhD, when the core course for my political theory minor took Hayek’s thought as its theme.
Page numbers in the text refer to the 50th anniversary reprinted edition: F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1994)
Continue reading “PANDEMIC REREADS: HAYEK’S THE ROAD TO SERFDOM”
If the power relations of Europe in 1938 made it inevitable that Czecho-Slovakia should lose part of its territory and eventually her independence, it was preferable … that this should come about as a result of discussions round a table in Munich…
E. H. Carr, 1939 edition of The Twenty Years’ Crisis.
In the circumstances of Europe to-day the problem of the Historic Provinces [of the Bohemian Crown] cannot be satisfactorily solved.
Elizabeth Wiskemann, Czechs and Germans, 1938.
2019 is the eightieth anniversary of E. H. Carr’s book The Twenty Years’ Crisis. What better way to celebrate the occasion than showing how a book published the year before by Elizabeth Wiskemann had already undermined Carr’s solution for the peace of Central Europe.
Continue reading “CZECHS & GERMANS: ELIZABETH WISKEMANN & THE TWENTY YEARS’ CRISIS”
In a 1995 interview Robert Strausz-Hupé – the University of Pennsylvania professor, strategic studies specialist, former foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential hopefuls, and United States ambassador – stated that he took pride in the predictions he had made about the future during his long career. ‘I’ve been fairly consistently on the right side…’ he reported, ‘I can say that I’ve seen the world fairly clearly.’ (Hughes, 2006: 157) Predictions of the future were the theme of his 1945 book The Balance of Tomorrow, and in future years Strausz-Hupé was credited with foreseeing the rise of China and India that would ’tilt the balance of power towards Asia.’ (Sempa, 2015) Unfortunately, while segments of the book are capable of being quoted to give this impression, that was not actually the argument that he made.
Continue reading “THE BALANCE OF TOMORROW: ROBERT STRAUSZ-HUPÉ’S PREDICTIONS REVISITED”