Friday, April 09, 2004

Source-Checking Department

Those who follow the headlines these days know by now that Condoleezza Rice's academic specialty, prior to her entrance into government, was the Soviet military. I knew this earlier than most because when I was doing a master's in international affairs, back in the late '80s, I read several articles on the topic by her. I think it's clear to most observers now that her academic background ill suited her for the role she was to play on becoming Bush's national security adviser. But hey, it's not her fault that the Cold War was usurped by the rising tide of Islamism!

Anyway, my source in Kazakhstan has brought to my attention a review of Rice's first book, published in 1984 and titled The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948–1983: Uncertain Allegiance.

The review, written, natch, by one Joseph Kalvoda (who thought Rice was a man), makes statements such as:

"Rice's selection of sources raises questions, since he frequently does not sift facts from propaganda and valid information from disinformation or misinformation. He passes judgments and expresses opinions without adequate knowledge of facts."

Thanks to my source in Kazakhstan, who found mention of the review in the Washington Monthly. No conclusions to draw. That's it.

Oh. And apparently Rice's dissertation adviser was Josef Korbel, Czech historian and father of Madeleine Albright.