Steve Walt has a challenge:
…who are the most amusing, entertaining, or witty writers in the field of international relations and foreign policy? I don’t mean books or articles that are “funny” because they are wildly off-base; I mean scholars who are a joy to read because their prose is lively, they offer amusing asides, and maybe even manage a laugh-out-loud witticism on occasion. And to narrow the field a bit more, let’s exclude journalists (who are rarely all that amusing but usually have livelier writing styles).
Since I’m hosting Steve for a talk next week here in the Five Colleges, I have a challenge to Duck readers to come up with a stronger list than his readers can produce. I gotta figure that’s a slam dunk for Duck readers…
Although, we may have a problem — google “entertaining IR books” (in quotes) and see how many hits you get. Not pretty. (fyi, it doesn’t get any better if you unpack it to “entertaining international relations books”)
For my money, Richard Betts has the most lively prose and sardonic wit. I don’t know any one else who has called another scholar (Mearsheimer) a “party pooper” in the pages of Foreign Affairs (although outside the pages of Foreign Affairs is a different story).