THE EXPERTS by Seymour & George Bailey Freidin


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A weird, repetitive compendium whose unifying theme is U.S. foreign policy, not experts, though it begins with an attack on those who so style themselves by virtue of fluency, status, and specialized interests. This would be a worthy undertaking: but it turns out that an expert is anyone the authors disagree with, including academics, who gain the status of ""authorities"" if their opinions jibe, pretentious phonies if they don't. The authors themselves are correspondents who have drunk with Dayan, listed to Ayub Khan, and so forth. Their twenty-three chapters include a solid, provocative history of U.S.-German relations during the past thirty-odd years, alternated with stream-of-consciousness notes on the CIA, NATO, the Manchester affair, then Africa, Asia and Latin America, and back to Germany once more. The anti-""expert"" broadsides continue; particular betes noire are De Gaulle, the New York Times, and Dr. Spock, with Walter Lippmann as the arch-fiend. There are revelations (notably, RFK's phone call to the CIA right after the assassination: ""Did you have anything to do with this?"") as well as oversimplifications (since the authors disclaim expertise, they can't be faulted for superficiality, or so they seem to think). The historical chapters alone would make a tidy, respectable book; this one is inchoate and prejudiced, but very lively.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan