October 6, 2007
I guess it was about 15 years ago that I was poking around my book collection on a rainy Saturday and realized I had something like 10 books by Garry Wills on various subjects. I’d bought them not because I was a Garry Wills fan as such, but because the subjects promised an interesting read. Each book had delivered on that promise in spades, I realized, and from that point on I was a Garry Wills fan as such.
Though Lincoln at Gettysburg remains the Wills book I return to most often, Wills has written frequently and thoughtfully on the role of religion in American life and politics. His new one Head and Heart: American Christianities, emphasizes the fact that cannot be stated often enough: that separation of church and state is the protector of religion, not its enemy. Pull up a mug of coffee and hear him talk about it on Fresh Air.
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Meanwhile, John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt talk about their new book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, as part of the “Conversations with History” series from UC Berkeley. I dunno, they sound pretty reasonable to me. I didn’t hear anything about wiping Israel off the map or rephrasing the old blood libels. They just talk about AIPAC as another interest group like the National Rifle Association, and gauge the extent of its influence. Sounds like a worthy project to me.
ADDENDUM: Here’s Mearsheimer on The Colbert Report as well.