Friday, February 4, 2005

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February's books of the month

This month's international relations book is an easy call -- Stephen D. Krasner's Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Since Krasner was appointed to be the State Department's Director of Policy Planning this week, it seems fitting for people to take a look at his most recent sole-authored book.

This would be particularly useful because if there is one thing the DC press corps sucks eggs at, it's parsing out the policy implications of academic writings. For exhibit A, consider Al Kamen's column from a few weeks ago which tried to uncover Krasner's thoughts about foreign policy from his latest article in Foreign Policy. Key paragraph:

[T]hough [Krasner] has long been respected as a premier thinker firmly in the realist camp, his latest views on preventive war seem to be more in sync with the Pentagon's, judging from his article in the most recent issue of Foreign Policy. In that piece, Krasner speculates on what would happen if terrorists set off nuclear explosions here and in New Delhi, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Well, the last thing I would want in a director of policy planning is to have someone who.... plans out contingencies for future world-historical events.

Now, before I anounce my general interest book, would everyone under the age of 18 please go click over somewhere else right now. Go ahead, I'll wait....

OK, adults only? Here's the thing -- I had a general interest book all picked out -- and then I checked my mail today and saw a very thick envelope. In it was a copy of Paul Joannides' The Guide to Getting It On!.

The accompanying note reads as follows:

Dr. Drezner,

With two young children, a wife, a beagle, your academic background, and a blog that's long enough to gag a UN hooker, you need to have a copy of the Guide somewhere on your shelves.


Goofy Foot Press

This is how my life has changed since starting a blog -- in the same week, I can go from appearing on C-SPAN to receiving gratis copies of sex manuals.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have a small, deeply disturbed following.

[Say, maybe you could put that "blog that's long enough to gag a UN hooker" among your praiseworthy reviews!!--ed. No, no I really couldn't.]

posted by Dan on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM


One thing the DC press corps sucks at? ONE???? Try about 64 million.

posted by: Daniel Chicago on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

Well Dan, my company's web server won't even let me go to the publisher's web page (something about violating company restrictions). Glad to see you're keeping up the moral fiber of the Drezner clan.

posted by: Jay on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

Will you be providing a more extensive review of this book? Make a case for why it is the general-interest book of the month? Cite interesting paragraphs in doing so, as you usually do in your "Book of the Month" entries?

posted by: Anonymous on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

You can can combine excerpts from both books. Call it "Sovereignty, Getting It On."

posted by: Mike Lech on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

I think I'll buy both.

posted by: Yo on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

I have this book and I gave it to my kids when they became sexually active. I actually reckon it is excellent. Definitely book of the month material, if not very applicable to politics or economics!

posted by: Paul on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

That's actually the single best general-purpose sex guide out there, that I know of. Well worth a recommendation.

posted by: Anderson on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

Dan, you're looking for policy implications from "In the Loop"? Kamen's good for world-class snark and highlighting embarrassments -- certainly the only way anyone in Washington ever wants to appear in the column is as a contest winner -- but a policy guy he is not. You'll get more serious pronoucements from Wonkette.

posted by: Doug on 02.04.05 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

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