The last few decades have taught the rulers of the People’s Republic of China that their most effective poverty-reducing tool is the market, while Arab countries now fear a nuclear Iran far more than they ever did Israel.” The preceding is the first sentence of a book review of Literature and the Economics of Liberty edited by Paul A. Cantor and Stephen Cox. It appeared in the February 21st issue of The Weekly Standard. The author of the review, James Seaton is professor of English at Michigan State University.

What I can’t figure out is the relationship of the first clause of this sentence to its second. As Mr Seaton is a professor of English and I am a semi-literate nephrologist the misapprehension must be mine. If anyone can explain this sentence to me I would be very appreciative. Just for the record, the rest of Professor Seaton’s review is quite lucid.