No Such Thing as an Expert on Asia

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Some selected bits I liked from Stanley Karnow's appearance on Booknotes in 1989: 

"... [a writer is] a bit like a sculptor with this enormous piece of granite ... you've got to chip away at that granite in order to mold that sculpture, and that is a very hard process. 

I don't know any writer who thinks that writing is fun. It's hard work, and the way I do it is just as if I'm doing any other job. I get up in the morning and I have breakfast and read the newspapers and shave and shower and get dressed, but I go down in my cellar, where I have my study, and work. I try to get to my machine by 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning. Sometimes I'll run out of steam in the afternoon, but sometimes I'll go until midnight. But you have to treat it as a job; you have to be disciplined. You don't sit around waiting for inspiration. If you do, you're never going to get anything done because it's much more fun taking the dog out for a walk along the canal than sitting down there and writing."

"[MacArthur and Eisenhower] hated each other. They had terrible fights. Eisenhower was later asked, Did you ever know Gen. MacArthur? He said, 'Yes, I studied dramatics under him for seven years.' 

Years later when Eisenhower was president, somebody asked MacArthur if he had known Eisenhower, to which MacArthur replied, 'Best clerk I ever had.' There was something incompatible about their characters. MacArthur was a monumental egotist, a talented man, a skilled man in many ways. Eisenhower was essentially a rather modest man, and they disagreed over policy. "

"The interesting thing about the Asians -- the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Cambodians, Indians, Pakistanis -- coming to the United States is they're coming in with all the old American virtues -- family, hard work, risks and endurance, stamina. I think they're making a positive contribution to this country."