buttresses the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention by reacquainting us with three 19th-century episodes in which military invasions were undertaken to rescue populations subjected to terrible abuses. He describes the naval efforts of Britain, France and Russia in support of the Greeks fighting for independence from Turkey in the 1820s; the suppression by France of communal warfare between Druse and Maronites in Lebanon and Syria in the 1860s; and Russia's defense of Bulgarians against Ottoman "horrors" in the 1870s.
For this reviewer, "Bass relates these episodes masterfully, providing a wealth of detail in fluid prose," enabling readers to "reflect on how much things have changed since the 19th century, and how much, in certain ways, they have not."
makes a sensible case that everyone has a self-interest in the strivings and sufferings of others because the borders between societies are necessarily porous and contingent and are, when one factors in considerations such as the velocity of modern travel, easy access to weaponry, and the spread of disease, becoming ever more so. Americans may not have known or cared about Rwanda in 1994, for instance, but the effect of its crisis on the Democratic Republic of the Congo could have been even more calamitous. Afghanistan's internal affairs are now the United States' -- in fact, they were already so before Americans understood that. A failed state may not trouble Americans' sleep, but a rogue one can, and the transition from failed to rogue can be alarmingly abrupt.