Conversations with History: Institute
of International Studies, UC Berkeley
This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations
with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public
Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.
Welcome to a Conversation on International Affairs. I'm Harry
Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is William Pfaff.
William Pfaff is an American writer living in Paris. His syndicated column
appears regularly in the International Herald Tribune and in newspapers
throughout the world. He is the author of several books, most recently Barbarian
Sentiments: How the American Century Ends. For that book he was nominated
for the National Book Award, and has just won Geneva's Jean Jacques Rousseau
Literary Prize for 1990.
- Background ... be careful what you pray for ... Commonweal magazine
... travel ... Free Europe Committee ... Hudson Institute
- Writing ... cumulative value ... Southeast Asia ... polarized Vietnam War
Policy Ideas ... intellectual basis in the fifties ... American
myth and intellectual laziness ... impoverished debate ... running behind
events ... playing a less active role
- The Soviet Union ... Gorbachev
and the discrediting of Marxism ... his disparate levels of legitimacy in
foreign vs. internal politics ... dire economic conditions ... Soviet leadership
through Brezhnev era ... new generation's wider view ... rejoining Europe
... the problem of technological growth
- Central and Eastern Europe ...
public ignorance of region ... loss of legitimacy of Communist Party ...
Moscow's failure to inspire cultural emulation ... Eastern European artists'
contributions to Modernism ... predicting a new flowering of culture
- Thoughts on Western Europe ... successful
societies ... ethnic tensions ... the problem of Germany
- Thoughts on America ... preoccupation
with self ... press's indifference to foreign affairs ... continuing prevalance
of clichés ... no external references
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