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Faulty ivory tower.

As a working historian with often-dusty fingers, I was pleased to see Benjamin Wallace-Wells's ("Right Man's Burden," June) balanced portrayal of the "edutainment Educational material that is also entertaining.

(application) edutainment - Interactive education and entertainment services or software, usually supplied commercially via a cable network or on CD-ROM.
" mini-tycoon Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson (b. April 18, 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland) is an award winning Scottish historian specializing in financial and economic history. He is best known for his revisionist views on imperialism and colonialism. , who has made a success as a "historian" without doing much work, and whose quality of work falls with each successive volume from a not-very-high start point. It's best to let the false prophets condemn themselves, and Wallace-Wells does a nice job of letting Ferguson show us just what a fake he actually is, simply by letting him rattle on.

Mott T. Greene

Professor of Science and Values University of Puget Sound The University of Puget Sound (often called UPS or just Puget Sound) is a private liberal arts college located in the North End of Tacoma, Washington, in the United States.  

Tacoma, Wash.

The Ferguson piece was interesting. I think some of Ferguson's observations are cogent, though not necessarily his remedies.

The difference between British and American approaches to empire is that Britain was keen on exporting people and investment capital and assumed that benefits to the home islands would follow. Being British was good, but knowing the native cultures was also important. The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  exports business models, rotates its people overseas, but not long enough for them to become too friendly with the natives, the better to help bring home the profits to the homeland. Americans view overseas assignments as assignments, not lives.

in short, Britain was secure that being British was special enough, while the United States, like the Soviet Union, views its specialness as ideological and subject to repeated verification. The Brit brit also britt  
1. The young of herring and similar fish.

2. Minute marine organisms, such as crustaceans of the genus Calanus, that are a major source of food for right whales.
 expats may have had their book clubs and parties but borrowed the Indian word gymkhana gym·kha·na  
1. Any of various meets at which contests are held to test the skill of the competitors, as in equestrianship, gymnastics, or sports car racing.

2. The place where such an event is held.
 for their horse competitions and brought it home. The Yanks bring their Coke, fries, and Washington area-code cell phones to the Green Zone in Baghdad.

The only lasting American imperial power is cultural, the soft power of Joseph Nye: music, film, art, technology, and business know how. That is powerful and lasting, and sadly underutilized by the present ruling elite in Washington.

Prof. Jeffrey Harris

Plasma Research Laboratory

Australian National University Australian National University, located in Canberra and state-sponsored, founded 1946 as Australia's only completely research-oriented university. Originally limited to graduate studies, it expanded in 1960, merging with Canberra University College (est. 1929).  

Canberra, Australia
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Author:Harris, Jeffrey
Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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