Easter reading

For most Australians it’s only day two of a four-day holiday weekend, so it’s a good time to have some reading ideas. Here are some things I’ve found recently on the internet – staying away from Australian politics, which you’ve probably had enough of.

Thirty years on from the abortive Chinese revolution of 1989, Margaret Lewis and Jeffrey Wasserstrom at CNN look back at what happened and compare China’s development with that of Taiwan.

There’s a fascinating interview at Die Weltwoche with the leader of the new Dutch far-right party, “Forum for Democracy”, in which he outlines his disturbing crusade against modernity in all its forms.

Another wonderful interview is with a very different subject: Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian profiles Ken Clarke, the veteran Tory pro-European, with his thoughts on Margaret Thatcher, Brexit, and the uses of politics.

The team at Lawfare have come up with a very thorough and balanced analysis of the Mueller report: all the more damning of Trump and his henchmen for its fairness.

Tom Greenwell at Inside Story reviews a new book on the Vietnam war, offering both a sensible interpretation of the war (particularly its often-neglected prehistory) and some lessons for the present.

From past wars to present: Daniel Larison at the American Conservative outlines the politics of the war in Yemen, and argues that the United States has less common interest with Saudi Arabia than it does with Iran.

Nick Gillespie in Reason reviews a documentary about Steve Bannon, and explains the importance of its subject in understanding the reorientation of politics along a nativist vs cosmopolitan axis.

Michael Munger and Mario Villarreal-Diaz in the Independent Review have a long read on the conditions that lead to the transformation of market economies into crony capitalism, and what (if anything) can be done about it.

Stephen Davies at the Cato Institute previews his new book about the origins of the modern age of economic prosperity, with some interesting ideas about what made “western civilisation” distinctive.

Luke Hunt in the Diplomat has interesting background on the recent steps towards barbarism in the sultanate of Brunei.

Finally, Justin Lynch in the New Republic looks at tomorrow’s runoff election in Ukraine, which he portrays as driven by rivalry between oligarchs, but nonetheless not without hopes of a result that will contribute to fighting corruption.

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