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.

Advertisement

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

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018