Celtic Tiger & American Hubris

I don't usually link to articles that are not available online, but these two pieces from The New York Review of Books are very much worthwhile, even if you have to hoof it to the library.

The first is a review of Fintan O'Toole's Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger, which looks at the devestating effects of the housing bubble on the Irish economy, and how Irish politicians played along as the country cruised toward the iceberg.

The second is a much-deserved encomium to William Pfaff, right, the 81-year-old columnist whose skepticism of the use of American power abroad has proven prescient time and again. At the end of his review Geoffrey Wheatcroft credits Pfaff's Catholic sensibility (he was an editor at Commonweal a long time ago) for his subtle understanding of human fallibility:

By formation a traditional Catholic, [Pfaff] sees human history sub specie aeternitatis, with no reason to suppose that mere material progress will itself redeem fallen humanity. For many years he has challenged the conventional wisdom of the age, speaking with a deep understanding born of past experience. Might his unconventional wisdom turn out to be the voice of the future?

Tim Reidy

 

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017
“The Catholic Church stands in love with the Jewish community in the current face of anti-Semitism.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 24, 2017
Addressing 90 experts from many countries, Francis said that “all people have a right to safe drinking water.”
Gerard O'ConnellFebruary 24, 2017