PROGRESSIVE REALISM

Bring on the revolution

Sep 13 2019
I feel a little guilty about how much I enjoyed David Rieff’s...

“There is nothing necessarily inappropriate about a biographer being in profound sympathy with his or her subject, to the exclusion of that person’s contemporaries. But when Packer says, as he did in a talk he gave at an Asia Society meeting when the book came out, that he misses the Holbrooke era because “the alternative is Trump’s America,” he is being disingenuous. Forget Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the possibility that, for the first time since the socialist congressman Vito Marcantonio lost his House seat in 1950, a political left worthy of the name will be competitive in U.S. electoral politics. For an alternative to these two choices, one need look no further than Barack Obama, who looms like Nemesis over the last part of Packer’s book.”