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December 26th, 2008
03:27 PM ET

In memoriam: Samuel P. Huntington

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (L) talks with Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard University.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (L) talks with Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard University.

Editor's Note: Political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations, has died. In 2001, Robert D. Kaplan profiled Huntington for the Atlantic, assessing his thinking about Islam and the West.

Robert D. Kaplan
The Atlantic

The most memorable review that Samuel Phillips Huntington, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard, ever got was a bad one. "Imagine," Huntington recalled recently, sitting in his home on Boston's Beacon Hill. "The first review of my first book, and the reviewer compares me unfavorably to Mussolini." He blinked and squinted shyly through his eyeglasses. Huntington, seventy-four, speaks in a serene and nasal voice, the East Bronx modified by high Boston. He described how the reviewer, Matthew Josephson, writing in the left-wing opinion magazine The Nation, had ridiculed the militarism and "brutal sophistries" of The Soldier and the State and had sneered that Mussolini's sentiments had been similar though his words had more panache: "Believe, obey, fight!"

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Robert D. Kaplan
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