“The Fate of Empires,” by Sir John Glubb
September 28, 2014
A friend sent me this lovely piece, which originally appeared as an article in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1976. It is brief, but has a lot of wonderful material and interpretation. Glubb was a military man, in the gentlemanly tradition of the British Empire, born in 1897 and commander of the Jordan Arab Legion from 1939 to 1956. After retirement, he published at least seventeen books. I find the point of view here quite wonderful, as it is from a practical man of action and statecraft, free to follow the interests and enthusiasms of his own mind. The result is much different than typical career academics, who have little experience outside the university, and who are mostly doing circus tricks to advance their careers.