At a party before the New York City screening of Che, director Steven Soderbergh said the reason he stretched Che to 257 minutes was because there was just too much story to tell about the revolutionary in a mere two hours. Later, at the same party, I asked a seasoned journalist and avid film viewer (who had just seen Che) his reaction to the film. While he enjoyed the film on the whole, to him it seemed that the jungle scenes were repetitive, ultimately making the film too long. Having now seen the full four and a half-hour film I can attest that, while their opinions are disparate, both Soderbergh and the journalist are right.
On completion of Conundrums of Humanity one cannot deny Jonathan Power is a man of passion gathered and honed from a lifetime of worldly experiences. Conundrums, a reflection of this passion, is a heartfelt, ambitious attempt to solve eleven of the world's critical issues in one volume. Because of this constrained scope, however, here and there Power falls short on delivery. This is to be expected though: how can one expect to delineate and solve the world's problems in eleven short chapters?
Last night at the venerable 92Y, Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass took a few questions from a smiley, curious, leggy Katie Couric.
As I write this, U.S. and Canadian warships and Coast Guard vessels are steaming up the Hudson River, right outside my window. It looks like a slow but well planned attack is converging on New York's Upper West Side (look out!).
"The United States pledged an additional $110 million in aid to Pakistan on Tuesday, reflecting both the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Swat Valley and what the administration says is its growing confidence in Pakistan's efforts to combat the Taliban."
It is peculiar that a book on the lessons to be gleaned from our foreign policy misadventure in Iraq was published while the conflict still raged. Even now the fighting and dying continues, albeit on a lesser scale. The Iraq War is "the subject of volumes of instant history," notes Arthur Schlesinger Jr. What sets Lessons from Iraq apart from contemporaneous Iraq War books, however, is its attempt not at commentary on the fiasco, but its intention to help avoid getting into this mess... again.