Meet Stoddard

Friday, May 24th, 2013

I haven’t seen the new Great Gatsby movie, but I suspect it dispenses with the book’s short passage on Lothrop Stoddard, who seems rather prescient when you put it this way:

What would you say, gentle reader, if I told you that just after the First World War, a Harvard historian published a book in which he predicted

  • that Japan would rise as a major power,
  • that the United States would go to war with Japan in the Pacific,
  • that the Treaty of Versailles would lead to a second massive war in Europe,
  • that Africa and Asia would overthrow European colonial rule,
  • that colonization would actually reverse with mass migrations from the Third World to the West, and
  • that Wahhabism (so-called “radical Islam”) would emerge as a threat to the West;

but that today this man and his work — for which I do not think “prophetic” is too strong a word at all — have been almost entirely forgotten, except that a few academics (or what passes for academics these days) still bring him up from time to time to remind us how wrong and evil he must have been?


  1. Michael says:

    It actually does quote him (roughly). They have Tom go on about “the rise of the coloured empires”, which is a rough paraphrase of Stoddard’s book.

    Of course, in this progressive era we inhabit, it is used as evidence of Tom’s “eeeeevil”, but yeah, it’s still in the film.

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