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Peace Kills: America's fun New Imperialism…

Peace Kills: America's fun New Imperialism (original 2004; edition 2004)

by P. J. O'Rourke

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499820,441 (3.45)2
Title:Peace Kills: America's fun New Imperialism
Authors:P. J. O'Rourke
Info:Picador (2004), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Yarra Plenty Library
Tags:american politics, commentary, conservative, current affairs, essays, foreign policy, history, humour, imperialism, Iraq, Israel, journalism, Middle East, non-fiction, political, political humour, politics, read 2013, satire, terrorism, travel, USA, war

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Peace Kills by P. J. O'Rourke (2004)



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"Would we do, after the Afghan war, as we did after the Gulf War and just go home, have a recession, and elect some creepy Democratic governor of an obscure state as the next president?"

OK, so Illinois isn't that obscure, but this book ought to be a classic for this moment of clairvoyance alone. ( )
  JohnPhelan | Nov 9, 2015 |
O'Rourke write clear concise prose that leave you with no ambiguity about where he sits on the political spectrum or the issue of his essay and while I don't agree with many of his opinions they do make a good read. Even the most left wing anti -O'Rourke individual could not help but agree with his sentiments on war in the final essay. ( )
  mjmorrison1971 | Jan 26, 2013 |
P.J. O'Rourke's books are not single, large works, per se, but are collections of his magazine pieces compiled and bound by mirthful publishers; sort of a Xeroxing For Dollars scheme. Anecdotal by nature, O'Rourke casts his sarcastic eye upon the middle east in this collection, traveling through Egypt, Iraq etc. Part historical drinkalogue, part chumming with the local populace fiesta, O'Rourke's observations make us smile, wince, sometimes guffaw (although not nearly as much in this collection in comparison to previous tales) and provide a man-on-the-street glimpse of daily life in regions normally presented only by a scandal-drooling press corps. ( )
  jwcooper3 | Nov 15, 2009 |
I own, or have at least read, nearly every book PJ O'Rourke has published, up to and including the original American Spectator "Enemies List." So it was disappointing to read "The CEO of the Sofa," which I considered a failed, if admirable, experiment. "Peace Kills," however, is much closer to the classic PJ his fans know and love, and a worthy successor to "Holidays in Hell" and "All the Trouble in the World."

Over the years, PJ's writing has come to rely less on the wisecrack and one-liner, and more on shrewd observation and memorable reporting. His chapters here on Israel and Egypt, especially, are both entertaining and insightful. But I've always thought PJ's greatest strength was his ability to see through and deflate the hypocrisy and BS of the Left. His brief chapter "Nobel Pretensions" and his reporting on Leftist demonstrations in Washington, D.C., are fine examples of this. (I have to note, though, that reporting on Leftist demonstrations in D.C. seems to be a staple of PJ's repertoire, and so this article may bear some similarities to ones you've seen before. But then, that's true of Leftist demonstrations, too.)

But PJ has more than one club in his golf bag, as his recounting of a trip to Iwo Jima shows. He can be funny, but he can also be moving, and sometimes almost poetic. And nearly always, of course, memorable and worth re-reading. This may not be PJ's Best Book Ever, but it's still a fine addition to the shelf. Fans will enjoy it, and people interesting in well-written and original viewpoints on the world's trouble spots will find it worth picking up. ( )
1 vote Cascadian | Jul 3, 2009 |
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"P. J. O'Rourke visits Kosovo to find out what happens when we try to have a war without hurting anybody: "Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening." He travels to Israel at the outbreak of the intifada and ponders, "What if people who had been away for ages, out and on their own, suddenly showed up at their old home and demanded to move back in? My friends with grown-up children tell me this happens all the time." He flies to Egypt in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists' attacks and contemplates bygone lunacies. "There is a question that less sophisticated Americans ask (and more sophisticated Americans would like to): Why are the people in the Middle East so crazy? Here, at the pyramids, was an answer from the earliest days of civilization: People have always been crazy." And he covers the demonstrations and the denunciations of war. "French ideas, French beliefs, and French actions form a sort of lodestone for humanity. A moral compass needle needs a butt end. Whatever direction France is pointing - toward collaboration with Nazis, accomodation with communists, existentialism, Jerry Lewis, or a UN resolution veto - we can go the other way with a quiet conscience." Finally he arrives in Baghdad with the U.S. Army and, standing in one of Saddam's palaces, decides, "If a reason for invading Iraq was needed, felony interior decorating would have sufficed."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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