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Small Wars, Faraway Places: Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book of the political strategy of the highest leaders and how their personalities influenced their decisions. The "Epilogue Legacies" of the deaths of several of the major figures is fascinating and at times revealing.
Mr. Burleigh reveals his bias, concluding by writing:
"If this book has achieved no other purpose, I hope it has illuminated the fact that the perceived imperatives of world power shaped the foreign policy of the USA quite as much as they did its European imperialist predecessors. The central contradiction addressed by this book has not been between Americans ideals and practice, but the fact that, unlike the British, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese empires, the USA profited little and lost much from its misconceived adoption of liberal imperialism. For the Europeans it was an alibi adopted to prolong their imperial delusions; the best and brightest of the American liberal establishment were confident they could do it better, and in that hubris lay their own and their nation's tragedy."
The book is marred by run on sentences, lack of clear antecedents for pronouns, bad grammar and rather vague and unusual phrasing and word choices. I would hope that the editors would insist on a grammar oriented editor and put out an improved text.
The book can be read in sections, depending on your interests. His biases get worse later in the book, particularly in the American-Cuban relationship and the Vietnam war. His description of Ho's life is superb, as is his description of various French and Algerian figures in the Algerian war. His account of the French in Vietnam is the best I have read anywhere. His discussion of the Dutch attempt to regain and then leaving Indonesia is shorter but also quite good. The discussion of the Mau-Mau emergency is also the best I've read.
He starts with Asia. Chapters discuss Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia and the Malayan insurgency (not Malaysia until later). His chapter on Iran is also the best I have read anywhere, and in it Perfidious Albion is about as perfidious as anyone every has been, anywhere. This is close to a must-read if you want to understand today's Iran. His discussion of the Huk difficulties in the Philippines is very good--he really admires Magsaysay and has a kind of hateful admiration of larger than life CIA operatives like Lansdale. Americans in the Philippines parallel Brits in Iran in negatives.
The chapter on Egypt is superb.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book.
It would serve as a great tool for anyone who wanted to get the down-and-dirty on the global context of the Cold War, or teach a class or give a... Read more
This is an excellent recounting of the conflicts of the early Cold War era. My only wish is that the author would have taken the story to the end of the Cold War instead of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by John S. D'Angelo
Very well written and a very good basis for understanding the political world we live in today. I enjoyed it and thought it went well with some of Robert Kaplan's writings.Published 15 months ago by Joseph T. Hansen
Excellent book. After the first chapter you will have an understanding as to why we have the international difficulties we have today.Published 15 months ago by Stephen FILIMON
This is a very readable book that does a fine job of showing how post-World War II decolonization and the Cold War reinforced each other. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael Samerdyke
One of the best political/military histories of the early Cold War that I have ever read. Who knew that the Irgun invented letter bombs or that LBJ almost literally threw the Joint... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Metman
A well written review of the unintended coniquences of post-WWII policy. Very readable. A must read for understanding how we as a socity got to where we are today.Published 19 months ago by John Rakestraw
This book is a hard read. There is a lot of info that has to be digested in order to fully understand what the author is trying to get across. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Fran