Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Forelle's Book Findings

Playing God: Seven Fateful Moments When Great Men Met to Change the World, by Charles L. Mee.

Mee is a playwright and a historian, among other things, and I found his view and dramatic, descriptive powers to be very useful in re-enacting these events.

I bought the book because of a debate with an intellectual friend about the aftermath of wwii in eastern europe, thus I was focusing on the conference at yalta. It is particulary interesting that Mee subtitled this chapter with reference to the problems of unintended consequences (the inevitability of which is the foundation of the libertarian tendency toward minimalism in government -- and in foreign policy, for that matter).

Not only did the yalta chapter teach me much more about yalta than I expected, each of the other 6 crucial moments were richly rewarding.

The only two quibbles I have are with the sub-title. Being a zeitgeist believer, I don't believe out-of-hand in "great men," even when churchill and roosevelt are involved. Somewhat contradictorily, I don't believe in the idea of "fateful," so much as crucial. And from reading Mee, I believe he would let me edit the sub-title accordingly, once he got to know me better.

Amazon Review Page

No comments: