THE LIMITS OF POWER by Senator Eugene J. McCarthy


Email this review


Senator McCarthy rambles through almost a dozen topics related to foreign affairs--from the CIA to Vietnam--without ever once clearly demonstrating the unifying theme indicated in the title, One can only guess that he is suggesting that America act with more restraint and show a ""decent respect to the opinion of mankind."" If the reader wishes to move beyond such rhetoric he is lost. The author sketchily describes the background to various problems but loses himself in muddled thought once he suggests alternatives. For example, he criticizes American foreign policy for being ambiguous and then goes on to ask that we ""hesitate to waste our so highly questionable a course as the war in Vietnam"" without offering a differing approach. The book is confusedly written and its strikingly simple analysis of complex problems will frequently embarrass the intelligent reader. Atone point, explaining the success of Communism in China, he writes, ""The simplistic ideas and concepts of communism lend themselves to more understandable representation in the characters of the Chinese language than do the more complex ideas...of Western culture."" A disappointment for the Senator's following.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1967
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston