Thinking Aloud: “Cuisines of the Axis of Evil”

Apr. 21, 2015 by Darius 

I just finished reading Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Guide to International Relations by Georgetown professor Christine Fair.  Cuisines of the Axis of Evil does double duty as a cookbook and as a hilarious and withering look at some of the world’s most annoying states.

Fair examines ten “irritating” countries.  For each, she compiles first a “Dossier of Perfidy” (which is invariably hilariously written) and then provides detailed recipes and instructions for a dinner party of that cuisine, including appetizers, main courses, desserts, and beverages.

Fair starts off with the original Axis of Evil, as outlined by President Bush (or, as she alternately terms him, the Shrub or Arbusto: clearly, Fair is not a fan) in his now-infamous speech: North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.  From there, she moves on to the NPT+3, the states who possess nuclear weapons and have never been party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty: Israel, India, and Pakistan.  (Fair herself is a Pakistan expert.)  Next up are the Dashers of Democracy: Cuba, Burma (or, as Fair puts it, Myanmar if you hate freedom), and China.  Finally, Fair acknowledges that the US is seen as supremely irritating by most of the world and rounds off the book with the Great Satan Barbecue.

I haven’t actually tried any of Fair’s recipes (yet), but cooking aside, Cuisines of the Axis of Evil is a highly entertaining and informative read.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for the lighter side of international relations.

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