Kaplan on Fermor

Robert D. Kaplan has a wonderful tribute to Patrick Leigh Fermor in the New York Times.

An excerpt:

Because America???s own security will rest in a world where tribes matter as much as Twitter, Fermor is an icon of the kind of soldier, diplomat or intelligence expert we will need: someone who can seamlessly move from any one of these jobs to another, who is equally at home reading a terrain map as he is reciting the poetry of the people with whom he is dealing. The more depth and rarity of knowledge we can implant in our officials, the less likely they are to serve up the wrong options in a crisis.

But as Fermor shows, knowledge can???t be selectively learned for utilitarian ends. He was driven by the kind of appreciation of beauty with which life itself is sanctified.

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