Even approaching ninety, Kennan could write something as unique and principled as Around the Cragged
In Berlin, in 1968, I stood in a plaza at the Europa Center looking around and thought, this is new, exciting: the gleaming glass and steel, circular building, its array of shops and restaurants and, close by, the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche--a preserved ruin, its extant church spire a cragged
reminder of the bombs that fell from the heavens in vengeance.
One consequence of this rapprochement has been a growing awareness of the claim made by John Donne in "Satire 3," that "On a huge hill, / Cragged
, and steep, Truth stands".
A journey there features rugged mountains, heather-covered moors, sparkling lochs, swift-flowing streams and cragged
Kennan, Around the Cragged
Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy 27 (1993).
As American writer Dan Connell documents in his gripping eyewitness account of the Eritrean struggle, Against All Odds (Red Sea Press), the rebels transformed the cragged
mountains and harsh scrubland of the Eritrean countryside into a complex network of clandestine health clinics, schools, factories, barracks and makeshift motels for the traveling press.
In Around the Cragged
Hill, Kennan tells us more about his personal views on topics ranging from sex ("one of the most tedious, monotonous, at times ridiculous, and least interesting of human proclivities") to segregation ("People should be allowed to do what comes naturally").
The sprawl of the city ceases just a dozen miles from the Strip, and if you climb into a rental car and drive 20 minutes into the dry, cragged
hills at dawn or at dusk, you can join legions of Lycra-clad cyclists testing themselves on a sparse landscape whose rugged beauty seems stolen from the pages of a Sierra Club calendar.
113) See Jean Hampton, An Expressive Theory of Retribution, in RETRIBUTIVISM AND ITS CRITICS 1, 15 (Wesley Cragged
Then there are Kennan's personal writings: his two volumes of memoirs; his more informal reflections (appropriately called Sketches From a Life); his fascinating, almost strange "personal philosophy," Around the Cragged
Hill, in which he argued, among other things, that the United States should be broken up into smaller governing entities.