After some forty years of living elsewhere, mostly as a diplomat in various postings in Western Europe, George Dempsey returned to his hometown of Sacramento only to encounter the same pervasive anti-Americanism he had spent so many years enduring abroad. In particular, he found in his hometown newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, the same determination to ignore complexities and constraints and to find the United States responsible for whatever was currently going wrong in the world, whatever it might be. This prompted him, over the following decade spanning the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to produce occasional pieces on such negative attitudes towards what was happening (or the evolving reactions to what had happened in the recent past), setting out the facts of both what had actually happened and of what the Unites States had actually done, or not done, in response. Throughout, his expositions are based on demonstrable facts and argued with discernible logic. His book is an extended consideration, marked by Dempsey’s sardonic acknowledgment of his Sisyphean task, of what is really possible in our dangerous world to counter those who would do evil and of why so many of his fellow Americans seem dead set on not just belittling their own country’s efforts to do good in the world but on finding it responsible for the evil itself.
(Portland: Slow Dog Press, 2014)Buy Book