June 13, 2002
The Economist Reviews Oren, "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East"

Yet another book that I must add to my to-be-read pile. Nevertheless, it is not clear to me from the body of the review how the Economist's reviewer or Mr. Oren reach the conclusion that Egyptian dictator Nasser did not want war. After all, Nasser "closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping. 'The Jews threaten war,' he roared. 'We tell them: you are welcome, we are ready.'" If you really don't want war or the risk of war, that is not what you do... Economist.com Arabs and Israelis: It needn't have happened Jun 13th 2002 From The Economist print edition Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Michael B. Oren. Oxford University Press; 446 pages; $30. WARS don't really break out by accident, do they? In June 1967, one did. The strength of Michael Oren's meticulous new history lies less in his account of the six-day war than in his analysis of the crisis that preceded it. With India and Pakistan in a hair-trigger confrontation over Kashmir, the sequence of miscalculations that propelled the Middle East into war 35 years ago looks newly relevant. Mr Oren argues that neither Israel nor...

Posted by DeLong at 11:03 AM

May 20, 2002
What Can an Economist Say About 911? McKenna Lecture at Claremont-McKenna College, April 30, 2002

What--if anything--does a professional economist have to say about September 11, 2001? The terror-attack on the World Trade Center, its destruction, and the loss of life in the atrocity are the domain of political scientists, military strategists, students of religious fundamentalisms, and of researchers into psychological pathology. What does an economist--this economist--have to add?

Posted by DeLong at 02:35 PM

May 17, 2002
Berkeley Graduation

I felt Friday night that I was laying a burden on those students who had majored in PEIS. All graduating California residents knew that the citizens of California had invested $100,000 in each of their Berkeley educations in the belief that the education will help them accomplish great things. And we need great things from all of our graduates. Never has the pace of scientific and technical advance beeen greater, never has the world been more closely linked, never has the world economy been richer, never has the world seen faster economic growth, never has the world been more democratic. But never has the world been more unequal. Never before have we known how to make such destructive weapons. Never have waves of hatred been able to propagate themselves so rapidly around the globe.

Posted by DeLong at 02:40 PM