Sunday, June 23, 2013

What I am Sending to Senator Rand Paul

On Thursday, I reported that Senator Rand Paul tweeted out a picture from what appears to be his Senate office. The picture showed that on Rand's coffee table was the book, Power: Portraits of World Leaders.

Power brings readers face to face with the major world leaders of today. In this one-of-a-kind collection, Platon World Press Photographer of the Year turns his lens on 150 current international leaders from across the political spectrum to create a profound portrait of global power.

 From an Amazon review:
This book is a great collection of strangely intimate pictures. They feel so close, I sometimes felt almost a little embarassed to get such a close view of the person.

It turns out that Rand had his picture taken by this photographer of world leaders and the picture turned up on the cover of The New Republic.

However, since it appears that Rand may be running for the Republican nomination for president, it is perhaps time for him to move beyond the picture books.

A book exists which provides a portrait of world leaders of the past, Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal by Ralph Raico. In is not a picture book. It is a scholarly analysis of  "great leaders."A careful reading of this book, by any but the power crazed, would result in the ditching of  Power: Portraits of World Leaders from any coffee table.  After reading Raico's book, the conclusion has to be reached that power seekers are quite simply mad.

In Robert Higgs' foreword to Raico's book, he writes:
For Ralph, it would be not only unseemly but foolish to quiver obsequiously in the historical presence of a Churchill, a Roosevelt, or a Truman. 
He knows when he has encountered a politician who lusted after power and public adulation, and he describes the man accordingly. He does not sweep under the rug the crimes committed by the most publicly revered Western political leaders. If they ordered or acceded to the commission of mass murder, he tells us, without mincing words, that they did so.[...]Raico’s historical essays are not for the faint of heart or for those whose loyalty to the U.S. or British state outweighs their devotion to truth and humanity. Yet Ralph did not invent the ugly facts he recounts here, as his ample documentation attests.

In David Gordon's review of the book, he writes:

 Ralph Raico is our foremost historian of classical liberalism; and in this masterly collection of essays, he follows the practice of his great predecessor Lord Acton. In a letter to Bishop Creighton, Acton said: “Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.” Raico has taken to heart this counsel. Walter Hines Page, the American Ambassador to London during World War I, “in his abject eagerness to please his hosts, displayed all the qualities of a good English spaniel.” He agrees with John T. Flynn that Franklin Roosevelt was “a failure, a liar, and a fraud.” Of Roosevelt’s successor he remarks, “If Harry Truman was not a war criminal, then no one ever was.”

This is a book Rand needs to read carefully. I will send it to his Senate office.

1 comment:

  1. I don't get it. So you write a whole article because there is a book in Senator Paul's office that you don't like?

    Somehow I'm not convinced that reading one of your favorite books will improve the senator's presidential aspirations. Who knows, he might enjoy the book. However, you come off sounding a little to desperate for the senator to try and read your (probably) favorite book.