Even before American hegemony emerged after World War II, birthday boy George Washington's Farewell Address admonition to avoid "permanent alliances" and focus on neutrality had long since been ignored. Now we have a worldwide web of alliances, mostly of our own instigation, and involvement in a whole host of wars.
Many have identified the weaknesses in Deresiewicz's jeremiad. In his forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law, takes a different approach. What happens, he asks, to all those excellent sheep after graduation? His answer won't surprise many: The sheep get herded to law school.