Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Argo, the Movie

The LMM and I went to see Argo.  Like it.  A lot, in fact.  But even I recognized that there were some pretty significant...um... improvements in the story.

My good friend Dan Drezner notes that the films succeeds when it tells the truth.  And it also succeeds when it fibs.  As he puts it, "If you didn't detect at least one of the Really Big Whoppers in the second half of the film, well, then you should probably find a career other  becoming a foreign policy wonk.  Because there is some serious fictionalizing going on.  If you're buying it as fact, then you either lack the instincts or the strategic sense necessary to operate in the world of statecraft."

Dan points to two sources for getting actual historical background:  the Wired story by Joshuah Bearman that partially inspired the movie and theSlate explainer by David Haglund

Interestingly, Angus has suggested a related test for having the instincts for doing political economy.  And that's reading Mark Thoma.  If you don't immediately spot several credulous whoppers, you may not be a political economist.

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