Samuel Brittan just reviewed Christopher Coyne’s book After War in the Financial Times. Brittan compares favorably Chris’s book to two books that deeply influenced him as a student: George Kennan’s The Realities of American Foreign Policy, and Herbert Butterfield’s Christianity, Diplomacy and War.
As Brittan puts it: “[Coyne] starts off with a quotation from President George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural address, stating that US policy is to support the “growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world”. What could be wrong with this seemingly innocuous statement of worthy ends? The rest of Christopher Coyne’s book tells us precisely what.”
Note that Brittan doesn’t see as much benefit for peace in free trade as Chris does. It is interesting that the doux commerce thesis is often resisted even by people who otherwise have a good understanding of markets’ role (or perhaps not).