September 17, 2006

Gary Brecher and John Dolan

One of the most popular candidates for the secret identity of the War Nerd is eXile editor John Dolan. The latest issue of the Moscow alternative paper has essays by both and they make an interesting contrast. The Irish-American Dolan writes passionately about his favorite topic, perfidious Albion and the horrors of the British Empire, in a review of a book about the bloody repression by the British of the Kikuyu rebellion in colonial Kenya after WWII. As Dolan points out, Anglophilia is rampant in American intellectual life, so saying harsh things about the British Empire is not the royal road to professional success.

Meanwhile, Brecher writes about the Hindu-Buddhist civil war in Sri Lanka and its origin in the British Empire's labor policies of transplanting hard-working Hindus around the globe to supplant shiftless locals. Dolan and Brecher don't disagree all that much in their negative evaluation of the British Empire, but Brecher, oddly enough, is a lot more suave and good-tempered about it.

If Brecher is a character made up by Dolan, then Dolan is playing an interesting game by creating a fictitious character who is more prudently moderate about the single most unpopular thing that Dolan cares deeply about. It would make more sense to do the opposite: be less Anglophobic under your own name while creating a pen name under which you would vent your passions against the English. But then interesting writers don't always do what's in their own best interests, career-wise.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also, both writers have the unusual habit of capitalising 'hell'.

Both use the word frequently - several times per article is common - and it always looks odd when they write something like "knock the Hell out of".

Not a unique peccadillo, to be sure, but unusual to see in two writers for the same magazine, unless they're the same person (or it's a 'house style').