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

 

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

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

A group of lay theologians and clergy opposed “Amoris Laetitia” have released a letter “correcting” Pope Francis, part of an ongoing effort directed against the pope’s focus on pastoral outreach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
America StaffSeptember 23, 2017

The martyrdom of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother "fills us with sadness but also gives us joy to see the kindness, generosity and courage of a great man of faith," Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, said Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City.

Catholic News ServiceSeptember 23, 2017
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, the archbishop of Dhaka, has described the recent attack on the Rohingya community in Myanmar, as “a crime against humanity.”
Gerard O'ConnellSeptember 23, 2017
This year the Grand Bargain on refugees seems increasingly fragile.
Kevin ClarkeSeptember 22, 2017