Andrei Cherny, a young Arizona Democrat and all-around rock star was interviewed on The Colbert Report last night promoting his new book The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour.
Andrei’s book is extremely timely in the light of the current attitude towards diplomacy held by the current administration and of Republican nominee John McCain. The book’s subject is the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49, when the United States continuously flew food and supplies to West Berlin after the Soviet Union blocked off all food transportation routes into the city.
The air lift began only three years after the end of World War II, and many Germans held an antagonistic view of the United States, associating the country with bombing their homes and defeating their country. The commitment of the United States in supporting the people of West Berlin changed the perceptions of the U.S. held by those people. Where once they were associated with aggressiveness and violence, they became associated with compassion and survival. Andrei’s chosen title, The Candy Bombers, is based on the American pilots who dropped candy bars with parachutes down to the children of West Berlin.
The Candy Bombers is valuable reading for those who want to remember what American foreign policy used to be about. By showing compassion for the people of other nations we built the reputation and standing as a great nation supported by the international community. From Andrei’s book we may be inspired to seek a better foreign policy strategy, one the does not antagonize, but wins the hearts and minds of the international community with compassion.
Go ahead and pick up The Candy Bombers at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.