from Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien

Oscar Johnson refused to back off from a claim that he was born and raised in center-city Detroit, where, he said, he first learned the principles of human diplomacy. He listed them in precise order–compromise, give-‘n’-take, courtesy, magnanimity. “An’ if you still don’ get what you want,” Oscar said, “then crack the sons of bitches with a sledgehammer.” Diplomacy, he was fond of saying, is the art of persuasion; and war–never citing his sources–is simply diplomacy continued through other means. . .

8 thoughts on “from Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien

  1. I have to question his definition of diplomacy. My preferred definition:

    “Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody have your way”

    As my way is never war, it could never be considered a diplomatic solution.

    • There could be different definitions of diplomacy and yours is certainly a valid one but this book is written about the Vietnam War so naturally he would have his characters use war as an example.

  2. His words would be appropriate in today’s political world, compromise, give-‘n’-take, courtesy, magnanimity. “An’ if you still don’ get what you want,” Oscar said, “then crack the sons of bitches with a sledgehammer. Seems his words come to life on the world stage these days. Could replace Oscar to read Obama.

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