Swiss army

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Wed Jan 19 19:09:30 UTC 2000

>      How many wars has the Swiss army won, anyway?
> I don't know... but I'm pretty sure that their presence has prevented a lot of
> invasions. The Swiss military-political posture has been called "the neutrality
> of the hedgehog".

On this topic, the very best read is John McPhee's La Place de la Concorde
Suisse. The book is one of McPhee's finest, I'm convinced. When the
director of tourism of St. Moritz goes visiting abroad, he takes copies of
La Place... with him as gifts for people who want to know something about
Switzerland; even though the book deals specifically with the military,
its reach encompasses the entire spectrum of Swiss life. Approximate quote
from a Swiss journalist friend:  "We write about ourselves all the time,
but it took an American to show us who we are."

Peter Richardson

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