Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Guardians

Interesting new book on Kingman Brewster (once president of Yale) and his friends (Cy Vance, Elliott Richardson, John Lindsay). From the review in The Atlantic:

Why did these men, who were convinced of their own brilliance, so often make such a hash of things? It turns out that although they were all quick, clever, and poised, their intellectual attainments were negligible. Brewster and Richardson admitted that they didn't like to read—they preferred to get their ideas from schmoozing. Richardson—about whose book the most Kabaservice can muster is that it contained "high-minded ideas about government and citizenship expressed in elaborate prose"—may have held more Cabinet posts than any other man in history, but he failed to make a lasting mark in any of them (Bundy certainly left his mark as National Security Adviser, but probably he wouldn't be pleased to be remembered as the pseudo-tough guy advocate of the "graduated escalation" of the Vietnam War).

No comments: