Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
 
Henry Kissinger and Foreign Policy

So I saw Henry Kissinger last night. I can't blog anything specific about it because it was off the record. But it wasn't very exciting anyway. The discussion afterwards with David Westin, President of ABC News, was much more interesting and dynamic. I don't know why some public speaker type events are so juicy and others are so dry. I can't imagine that Kissinger, whatever his other faults are, lacks in the ability to conduct a dynamic meeting.

I need to learn more about foreign policy, national security, and economics though. I'm reading Daniel Ellsberg's Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers and, obviously, Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger. My reading list in this field is pretty long though. I wish there were book groups about these kinds of books the way there are book groups for novels.

I had dinner the night before last with an old friend from Athenian, and we were reminiscing on the kind of reading that our American history teachers Phil Garone and Carl Fredricksen gave us as sophomores in high school---Leon Litwack was our base text (the same book that they use at Berkeley for American history), and we were routinely assigned chunks of books like Eugene Genovese's Roll Jordan Roll or Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. It never occured to us that we wouldn't be able to do the reading because it was above our heads--we were expected to do it, so we did. Honestly, I haven't had that level of multi-pronged engagement with nitty gritty issues of modern policy, history, and economics since high school. This was partly my fault for taking mainly Classics in college (for American cultures I took religious studies, and for International studies I took an course in 19th century diplomacy), but also because the big lecture followed by intensive office hours model that worked so well for me in physics doesn't really do much for me in these kinds of fields. I need the seminar style, the thorough and careful discussion of one book at a time. Actually, I know I could have found those kinds of courses at Berkeley if I had looked hard enough, without having to go through the gatekeeper classes, but there just wasn't time in four years what with physics, Classics, and biology. I've said it before, and I'll say it again---a Berkeley education really should take 5 years.

Right now I'm so amazed at what I'm reading I feel like I could easily enjoy another year of upper division or masters level course work in international relations and public policy, but who knows, the feeling might pass.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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