Off to the Middle East and greatly enjoying Bernard Lewis' The Middle East, A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years. Also watched the Battle of Algiers last night and looked at Niall Ferguson's "A War to Start All Wars" (will start the book too).
Do politicians listen to intellectuals? Mostly not and mostly that's a good thing. I believe that Lewis and Ferguson once favored the Iraq invasion. In any case, they are refreshingly wise about all things.