Three issues in one posting.
The most notable pieces in both of the October issues were book reviews. In the 22 October issue, Daniel Lazare reviews Mearsheimer and Walt, concluding that their methodology is incoherent, their assumptions about US foreign policy naively optimistic, and their work as a whole a specimen of “a new form of nativism that sees foreigners and their domestic allies as a big source of America’s problems and believes that the country would be better off if it could eradicate such influences.” The 29 October issue reviews Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, the latest book by Vthunderlad’s favorite Chalmers Johnson (author of Blowback.) Stephen Holmes finds Johnson’s comparison of the USA with ancient Rome far-fetched and the concept of “blowback” marred by an “inherent slipperiness.” These weaknesses, Holmes claims, make it difficult to take Johnson altogether seriously, for all that “Nemesis is a serious contribution to contemporary debates, richly repaying careful study.”
In the 5 November issue, Alexander Cockburn cites the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore as yet another example of the moral bankruptcy of the Swedish Academy; James Ledbetter hails the publication of a volume of Karl Marx’ columns for the New York Tribune; and Russ Baker and Adam Federman look at one of Hillary Clinton’s more alarming moneymen.