March 12, 2001—Two
This week on our site we open a new province, "Two Rivers,"
to capture the impact of Asia on America, and America on Asia, which we take
to be the key story in world history today, now that the Cold War has melted
away. Read about this new site at
We shall talk mostly about Greater China and mostly about economic events,
although we shall take note of the cultural and political matters that will
have large economic consequences. This is not to say that the philosophical
story--the intermingling of ideas--that is foreshadowed in F.S.C. Northrop's
Meeting of East and West is not just as important. But, like most
people on this side of the Pacific, we take on the world piecemeal, never
quite managing to capture the whole picture.
We call this section "Two Rivers" because heartland stories of the U.S. and
China--both shaped by rivers--have as much to say about the drift of events
as the chatter that reaches us from the transitional port cities. We can pay
too much attention to what is happening in Washington, D.C. or Hong Kong and
miss the urban centers that will drive tomorrow. Even as we speak,
Shanghai, for instance, is becoming the real capital of Asia.
In the U.S., our newly announced census figures celebrate the swelling
importance of Asian and Hispanic populations. This means we will be turning
our eyes to Latin America and Asia, whatever the claims of Europe and
Also this week we managed to duplicate J. Richard Harris' very popular wine
chart in "Best of Class." Forgive any typographical errors, which are
solely due to some weary eyes. See
Now we will have to get some vintage guidance for other countries,
particularly Australia, Argentina, and Chile. We are astounded at the volume
of wine production coming from Argentina, and we are pleased with samplings
from a host of countries that are not in the mainstream.
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