Monday, December 6, 2010

The Quiet American

Hey everyone. I'm going to try to make this site more bloggy rather than just posting lengthy analyses of international relations and such that I write myself and don't bother to try to get published. I just returned from a trip to Germany and have a few posts in mind.

Firstly, you may have noticed my list of books I'm reading and good books I've read recently on the sidebar. Yesterday, while traveling from Berlin to Washington via New York, I read Graham Greene's The Quiet American in its entirety, except the first chapter which I had read over coffee at the hostel in Berlin. I've read a few Greene novels, loved The End of the Affair, liked Our Man in Havana, was a little disappointed by Orient Express. But The Quiet American may be my new favorite novel. It's a bitter critique of America's Wilsonian foreign policy, a very perceptive novel about Vietnam (published in 1955!), delves thoughtfully into the themes of innocence, responsibility, and religion (particularly Roman Catholicism) as Greene does in so many of his novels, and it's a damn good story. I recommend it to you all. I'll probably wait a few months so see how Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser act it out in the film from a few years ago.

Also, my Bowdoin friend Conor Williams won the Washington Post's America's Next Top Pundit contest, so you should check out his blog. Congrats, Conor!

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