Brave Old World: A Book
Europe, I wrote, was haunted by ghosts from the past while confronting entirely new problems it was ill-prepared to face. And Americans, I suggested, would be well-advised to pay attention to what was really happening.
When I wrote that book, my views were unusual and considered extreme. Now, obviously, they’re not.
Some of my readers have asked me to write a sequel. I agree it’s time to do that, especially in light of the economic and refugee crises and the invasion of Ukraine. I want to return to some of the places I wrote about ten years ago to see what I got wrong, what I got right, and why. I’ve been reporting many of the changes of the past decade from Turkey and France. Now I'd like to report from other places: the Balkan route of the migrant trail, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Britain as it debates its future in Europe, Eastern Europe as it decides whether liberal democracy is truly an idea for which it has much use.
What would your role in this be? You’d pay for it. You’d replace a conventional publisher as the source of the advance on the book. You’d replace The New York Times as the news gatekeeper: Yourjudgment about what’s important and interesting would guide my reporting agenda.
I suspect the project, including travel expenses, technical expenses (for example, hosting the website, editing the material) and covering my living costs would probably be — rough guess — about $60,000. If you like the idea and think I should pursue it, I’ll do it.
As you probably heard, last week Erdoğan called the Germans Nazis. The Dutch then barred Turkish ministers from campaigning in favor of their referendum in Rotterdam — Turkish expats can vote in Turkish elections — ostensibly on the grounds that their visit would cause unrest in the days prior to the Dutch election. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoğlu insisted upon causing unrest anyway, daring the Dutch to stop him from coming, which they did, and for emphasis the Dutch sicced the dogs on rioting pro-AKP Turks. Erdoğan then called the Dutch Nazis. Everyone in Turkey and the Netherlands went nuts, which was precisely the point of this whole charade ...
For the rest of the story, please go to my Brave Old World blog, here: http://braveoldworld2016.blogspot.fr/2017/03/vertigo-in-europe-elections-tulip.html
When I re-read it, I thought perhaps it sounded too critical. It wasn't meant to be; I meant to give the book a good review. My criticisms are mostly a matter of detail and emphasis. Clearly, I found the book thought-provoking, and I do recommend it.
Journalist James Kirchick’s first book is about Europe, not America, but throughout the reader will sense that it rests upon unvoiced axioms about America and its role in the world. These are axioms upon which no argument can rest confidently in the age of Donald Trump. As a consequence, although the book contains no obvious anachronisms, it feels as if it was written in another era, for a reader who no longer exists.
Kirchick was based in Prague and Berlin for much of the past decade, sending dispatches back to America about Europe and the former Soviet Union. During most of those years I did the same thing from Istanbul and Paris. Every writer imagines his readers; Kirchick’s imaginary readers seem to be much like mine. Call them Postwar Americans. Americans who feel it important to take a lively interest in the rest of the world, ones who are familiar, roughly, with the history of the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War, ones who instinctively feel the lessons of these catastrophes. Americans who elected such presidents as Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush; who understood that the relative global order in which Americans flourished for some seventy years did not emerge in sua sponte but was created, deliberately, by great postwar statesmen and maintained by American power, hard and soft.
The United States was at the center of a system designed to promote peaceful trade among reasonably decent and democratic people, and for the most part, it did. Those readers knew this system to be imperfect, but better than the alternatives. And they believed – wrongly, as it happened – that their country was sufficiently exceptional that such things as happened in Europe could not happen to them.
To the extent spectral qualities may be assigned to Donald Trump, there is a specter haunting this book ...
Hi Claire, Coming up on one year since you started this journey. I was getting updates regularly on Ricochet and through Facebook. I enjoyed the podcasts and initial involvement, but have lost touch with the whole project. Wondering how its going and if you plan to share your project going forward through the same avenues? If not, where can we follow the book's progress? Best wishes.
I prefer "Europe in the Age of ISIS" for two reasons: 1) It's more accurate, in that Trump is new to the scene, and nothing he has done (yet) has had any effect on the European recovery of backbone; and 2) by putting Trump's name in the subtitle you're somewhat tying the book's fortunes to his. Yes, he won the election, but now he must govern. If his presidency doesn't go well . . . And are you a Trumpista?
Have you read _Christ stopped at Eboli_? Maybe not much has changed since the 1930s. Closing for "Perterno" seemed pretty regular even North of Naples in the 1970s.
All Europe needs to do is defund their Global Progressive Agenda worldview from education in K-12, university, law and journalism schools and replace it with Western Enlightenment. This is the sword that cuts the Gordian knot. However Europe won't do this thing. See Jer. 6:16. By the way, the other countries should. That would be Kenya, the USA, the U.K., Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia... all of them. Will they? (It a fight: Tribal Control vs. Prog Control vs. Tragic Liberty.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrkN5Pqh5ok