Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Prologue to Blowback

An interesting bio covering Mr. Johnson's career studying "Far East" countries. His comment on Japan's unique form of democracy-military, industrial, university complex is very interesting and hopefully he will go into depth about this topic.

On a down note, his information jumped back and forth between China and Japan unexpectedly and without reason. Secondly, he makes statements without justification. For example, on pg. xiv he states he was "appalled by our government's policy of 'sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem.'" His basis is his research in "guerrilla war, revolutionary politics, and foreign armies." Is his knowledge based on Vietnam or just China and Japan given they have different histories than Vietnam. Another confusing statement is his suggestion that research is not as accurrate as the Vietnam War protestors intuition about our government(same page). How can he undermind his own credibility and then present himself as an authoritarian on the subject? (NOTE: He cites himself which is a bit of a problem for me.)

I look forward to reading his book about the Far East's government, culture, and economics.

1 comment:

Civis said...

This is an introduction. Good writing requires you “Tell them what you are going to tell them [introduction]. Tell them [body]. Tell them what you told them [conclusion].”

A prologue is supposed to whet your appetite. If you want details you have to read the book. If the prologue raises questions for you, it has served its purpose.

It appears that he is an expert on all of the Far East.

How/when did he do that?

Come on, Confero. Don’t tell me you are have never seen this before. The greatest scholars cite themselves, including St. Thomas Aquinas. You can’t get more scholarly than “The Universal Doctor.” If a scholar has previously done research, he will often cite to it rather than rehashing it. It is a service to the reader. If I buy a new book called BLOWBACK I will be disappointed if I find it is partly/largely a regurgitation of the last book I bought from him. Also, there may be issues regarding copyright which restricts his ability to repeat what he has done under a different publisher.

Are you going to finishing the book? Qualitas wants to read a different book if you are not going to finish.