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tsuomela : david   2

Worst and Dimmest
There's the nub of it--The Best and the Brightest. This skepticism about an excess of brains in government has persisted so long in large part due to the vividness of David Halberstam's study of the McNamara cohort. His book played into two of the animating political fears of the late twentieth century: liberal worry about the cold rationalism of foreign policy hawks; and conservative panic that the country's soul was being seduced away by clever young men on the coasts. And so, Halberstam's title has come to serve as political shorthand for a nervousness, on both the left and right, about governance by technocrat--a fear that braininess carries the built-in risk of failures the size of Vietnam.
halberstam  david  best-and-brightest  country(Vietnam)  history  lessons  politics  technocracy  technocrat  number  bias 
august 2009 by tsuomela

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