Walter Russell Mead interview

Pretty good, located here. It is a good synopsis of his book Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World. Of course, Mead introduced the term “Jacksonian”, which gets slung around a lot in blogspace these days, in that book. It is like Cliff Notes, if you aren’t going to get to the book — though you really should read the book.

4 thoughts on “Walter Russell Mead interview”

  1. For those who like the Mead approach on history and policy, it’s probably important to familiarize oneself with David Hackett-Fischer, who’s certainly the origin of Mead’s categories. The principal text is ‘Albion’s Seed’ by Hackett-Fischer (1991?) which introduces the folk ways approach to US history and culture, but his earlier book on the logical fallicies of historians (of a similar title) is amazing as well. As an interesting side note, Hackett-Fischer tests his hypotheses at the end of Albion’s Seed with a comprehensive examination of electoral trends in presidential races from the 18th century to the present that essentially predicted the general political shift to the center-right during the 90’s.

  2. I heartily agree with every word of this, sir. Hackett Fischer is one of my intellectual heroes. I may yet do a big post on him here on the blog.

  3. I dug up the book title: “Historians’ Fallacies: Towards a Logic of Historical Thought”….

    Hackett-Fischer seems at times to be to US historians what Charles Peirce is to US philosophy… the professionals lean on him so heavily that they’re slow to admit their debt (Kevin Phillips was a noteable exception). But I can’t think of a historian with his finger closer to a practical working knowledge of US cultural habits… and the logic! yum.

    Hey… speaking of Logic. If you haven’t come across Irving Copi, I can’t think of a better logician for this blog. To be honest I’ve only read his introductory texts, which should be in any used book store, but they’re dramatically more accessable than the usual suspects of logic texts (which tend to jump into sentential and predicated symbolic systems by chapter ten). Plus he doesn’t infect his examples in the Russell manner of justifying his political worldviews (Whitehead was the brains anyway!). Irving Copu. I promise.

  4. Thanks for the tip on Irving Copi or Copu. I’ll check him out.

    Where did Phillips admit his debt to Fischer? I’d like to read that.

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