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Mead Books of 2011

The editors of Foreign Affairs have published my list of the three best books on the United States I reviewed for them in 2011.  You can also see the list of my colleagues’ selections in a variety of fields.  The capsule book reviews at the end of each issue of Foreign Affairs are one of the best and most useful features in the world of magazine publishing.  Consult them regularly; I do.

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  • Luke Lea

    I can’t claim to understand God or the Trinity. But I would point out that before modern times to deny the Trinity in public was a capital offense.

    Also the various interpretations of the Trinity which were thrashed out in early church history were intimately tied to church politics. Not unlike the canons of political correctness in the modern academy. Maybe the winning formula was divinely foreordained. I don’t know.

    One point in favor of orthodox dogmatic theology I will admit. The early Puritans in New England were adament to uphold Calvanist doctrine in every last detail. Their attitude seems to have been that if you give them an inch they will take a mile. And it turns out they were right. Once the divinity of Christ was allowed to be questioned in public it was a short step to 19th century Unitarianism and then on to 20th century Unitarianism-Universalism, which in my neck of the woods is seen to be compatible with New Age paganism.

    In other words dogma held the church together. We see the same thing in Judaism — though not as yet in the realm of Islam.

    As for God being love, well, maybe, but if so God is not unconditional love. For God is also just. (I am speaking here of the God described in the Bible.) Everyone gets what they deserve in the end: mercy for the merciful, forgiveness for the forgiving.

    Reconciling love with justice, and justice with the manifest evil and suffering in this world is a challenge to the human imagination every bit as challenging as making sense of the Trinity — and maybe a more important one.

  • Jbird

    @Luke Lea: You stuck your comment on the wrong post, but. . . . the reconciliation of Love and Justice is in the death of Christ on the cross, anyone who receives mercy most definitely is not getting what they deserve.

  • alex scipio

    Not that I’ve aimed for anyone’s Best Books list, but here’s a quick read – 272 pages of quick geopolitical fiction from today’s news:

    Russia sells Siberia to China (too few people to exploit it), Russia uses a trillion dollars to hire 1MM Northern Europeans to come work and have kids and a future (and leave the euro), Russia and China write HUGE contracts with America companies to get the American economy kick-started (to repay the debt they hold), and China puts some knock-off American nuclear warheads on some DPRK missiles that the DPRK sells for badly needed cash to the Taliban. BUT – China also sends-along a launch and targeting technican and darned if those missiles don’t hit different targets… solving another problem for much of the world… with COMPLETE deniability.

    It’s a quick fun read you’ll likely enjoy… and who’s to say it can’t happen?

    Here’s a link to my blog on it, including a YouTube teaser and links to purchase it in papaer and eBooks.Give it a try! You’ll probably enjoy the read!

  • Peter M. Todebush

    I wish Professor Mead would review “Freedom Betrayed”, Herbert Hoover’s secret history of the second world war and its aftermath. During WW ll Hoover began to scribble the first words of what was later to be called his ‘magnum opus’. In this book Hoover offers his frank evaluation of President Roosevelt’s foreign policies before Pearl Harbor and during the war, an examination of the war’s consequences, including the expansion of the Soviet empire at war’s end and the eruption of the Cold War against the Communists.

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