, Volume 90, Number 5

Alex Danchev

This review article considers the case of Donald Rumsfeld and his disastrous tenure as US Secretary of Defense (2001–2006), as recounted by Rumsfeld himself in his memoirs and other writings, and in interviews with the celebrated documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, for The unknown known (2014). In all of these works he appears completely unreconstructed; indeed, remarkably self-satisfied. The article reflects on Rumsfeld as operator and courtier, and Morris’s pursuit of a man without qualities, with reference to Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘the banality of evil’.

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