Friday, September 26, 2008

Ron Susskind Interview

"So much of the mayhem...would have been avoided if the United States had just trusted its basic creed, rather than getting into the dark side and the back room, and saying that the only place you win against barbarians is a place where you yourself act in a barbaric way."
Download a wonderful in-depth radio interview (mp3) with Pulitzer prize-winning Ron Susskind, talking about his latest book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism".

Susskind, once the senior national affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal, voices the familiar lament that America has lost its moral high ground over the past eight years, via its institutionalization of arrogance, hypocrisy, and sinister secrecy. But Susskind sees great beauty and hope in multifarious attempts to reboot classic American transparency and morality. He also sees world dynamics naturally drawing our storied ideals out of us as people in developing nations resonate with what we once were and may again become.

I haven't yet read the book, but the interview's a must-listen (fast forward through the first couple minutes of fundraising). It's chock-ful of fascinating digressions, including reminiscences of Bhutto's last days in Pakistan (he was sort of her confidante):
"Make no mistake, she was corrupt right down to her socks and she knew it; but at the end of her life, she actually started believing in these things she'd long espoused."
More interviews with the show's host Scott Harris can be downloaded

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