Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! As many of us will be raising a toast to 2013 tonight, I found this story about boozy diplomacy especially apt for today.
The article, titled “The Vodka Effect,” traces the history of vodka in Russia in light of the recent dismissal of Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Carey for drunken antics. I always appreciate a drinking story, especially from world leaders:
Still, with apologies to Gawker and the New York Post, this was hardly the most epic Russian bender by a public official ever. In historical perspective, it was downright tame. In the process of researching my new book Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State, I’ve come across dozens of accounts of drunken state banquets spanning Russia’s imperial, Soviet and post-independence past—both by Russians accustomed to such traditions, and foreigners shocked and appalled by them.
It’s a great story and I’m excited about the book. The author was once a professor of mine at Villanova University.
Remember this story as you tipple tonight! Even the greatest among us can have too much.