I tore through Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America pretty quickly, but frequently found my eyes glazing over his Old and Regime and the French Revolution. It’s an interesting and important topic which he has an unusual theory on (he sees the Revolution as a continuation of changes the recent monarchs had enacted). Part of that was due to copious details about how many livres were raised through the taille but I think part of it was explained by the first book I mentioned. He discusses how eager Americans are to hear what foreigners have to say about their country, full of a sort of narcissism. That’s likely why that book has been so popular in America. I couldn’t get as interested in the discussion of Frenchmen.

Some advance praise for Walt & Mearsheimer’s Israel Lobby: At the top of the page in the endnotes is says “NOTES TO PAGES [NUMBER]-[LARGER NUMBER]”. That makes it really easy to find the ones you’re looking for, rather than flipping through to see where notes for your current chapter begin. I think more books should use that system.

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