Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bad, Bad, Bad Cover

I recently started reading the above book, and 200 or so pages in, it has well beaten my expectations, fractured prose notwithstanding. The cover, however, was not so lucky.

Despite being the face of a 1993 edition, it has the same innovative aesthetic that one typically associates with Soviet architecture, or perhaps robot artists, if such creatures existed. The eagle crest (instead of, say, a photograph of JFK and McNamara) screams, Boringboringboringpleasedontreadme! And the colors; of course, it makes sense to have a serious book about American foreign policy decked out with red, yellow, and blue. Wait...yellow? What? Lastly, the quote at the top is an exceedingly odd choice. I concede that it is thought-provoking, but only in the sense that I had to read it seven times to figure out what Frankel meant, and even now I'm not entirely sure. Typically, you like a quote to short and full of unambiguously positive adjectives. For instance, "brilliant", or "pioneering". This one is a lengthy riddle whose strongest word is "better".

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