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Posts Tagged ‘Great Books’

Wishful Thinking

We have already had a number of ‘Thucydides explains Coronavirus’ takes, of varying degrees of silliness – and the first sign of a fractal effect, whereby Graham Allison’s ‘Thucydides Trap’ misreading of Thucydides generates ‘Coronavirus Thucydides Trap’ misreadings of Allison misreading Thucydides – but I would dare to suggest that we’re already past the worst. Writing to students, the Dean of College at the University of Chicago eschewed the usual discussion of new rules and practical measures in favour of a rather idiosyncratic form of reassurance. His former graduate adviser had told him an anecdote about the dark days of 1942, when his superior officer reassured him with reference to Thucydides: wars rarely turn out in way you expect them to at the outset. (more…)

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