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The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris
In "The Icarus Syndrome", Peter Beinart tells a tale as old as the Greeks - a story about the seductions of success. In dazzling color, he portrays three extraordinary generations: The Progressives who took America into World War I, led by Woodrow Wilson, the lonely preacher's son who for a moment became the closest thing to a political messiah the world...
In "The Icarus Syndrome", Peter Beinart tells a tale as old as the Greeks - a story about the seductions of success. In dazzling color, he portrays three extraordinary generations: The Progressives who took America into World War I, led by Woodrow Wilson, the lonely preacher's son who for a moment became the closest thing to a political messiah the world has ever seen. The Camelot intellectuals who led America into Vietnam - men like General Maxwell Taylor, who quoted Thucydides in the original Greek, and Lyndon Johnson, who awoke screaming at the terror of being thought weak. Finally, George W. Bush and the post-cold war conservatives, who believed they could bludgeon the Middle East and liberate it at the same time. In each case, like Icarus, these leaders crafted wings - a set of ideas about the world. They flapped carefully at first, but as they flew higher they gradually lost their inhibitions until, giddy with success, they flew into the sun. And in each case, new leaders and thinkers found wisdom in pain. They reconciled American optimism-our belief that anything is possible - with the realities of a world that will never fully bend to our will, which is what Barack Obama and a new generation of Americans must do today...
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