Daniel Drezner is always here to mentally scar foreign policy wonks:
Former Kennedy School dean Joseph Nye usually writes the kind of books discussed earnestly at policy forums and perused by index-skimming colleagues killing time at university bookstores. But no more! In his just-published novel, “The Power Game” (“a taut but sensitive political thriller” — Tina Brown), Nye reaches out for a whole new audience. Here protagonist Peter Cutler, the proverbial “high State Department official,” engages in some ill-advised personal diplomacy with the alluring Alexa Byrnes, herself a policy playa at the Department of Defense. Cutler is married, albeit not to Ms. Byrnes:
Alexa led me to the bed in the middle of the enormous room and pulled me down beside her. I kissed her breasts and ran my hand between her thighs. She gripped my shoulders tightly. Unlike the first time I made love to Alexa, when the ecstasy had been eroded by a sense of anxiety and uncertainty, I was sucked into this moment as quickly and completely as if I had placed my feet in quicksand. Memories from years ago blended with intense physical excitement in a driving, pounding torrent of passion.
As Dan gleefully points out, this is the man who pioneered the terms, and theories, of “hard” and “soft” power. All I can say is that I can never read Foreign Affairs the same way again.