David Gelernter is a renaissance

David Gelernter is a renaissance man. He is a professor of computer science at Yale University and the author of books that suggest a kind of Herodotean interest in everything human. He has written a history of the 1939 World’s Fair. After he survived an attack by the Unabomber, he wrote a thoughtful book about that. Commentary Magazine has been running excerpts of his forthcoming book on Judaism. The new issue of the Weekly Standard carries Professor Gelernter’s piece “The Roots of European Appeasement.”
Among many provocative observations in the piece is the following: “Once upon a time we thought of appeasement as a particular approach to Hitler. We have long since come to see that it is a Weltanschauung, an entire philosophical worldview that teaches the blood-guilt of Western man, the moral bankruptcy of the West, and the outrageousness of Western civilization’s attempting to impose its values on anyone else. World War II and its aftermath clouded the issue, but self-hatred has long since reestablished itself as a dominant force in Europe and (less often and not yet decisively) the United States. It was a British idea originally; it was enthusiastically taken up by the French. Today (like so many other British ideas) it is believed more fervently in continental Europe than anywhere else.”


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