Sir, The seizing of a large part of the Finnish province Karelia (Karjala) by the Soviet Union after world war two was a big trauma to more than 400,000 Finns, who in 1944 were exiled from their native land to other parts of Finland.
One of them was a politician, well known for his teetotalism, who proclaimed to Nikita Khrushchev that he would drink a whole bottle of whisky on the day Finland would get Karelia back. Closer inquiry revealed that he meant a 40 millilitre bottle he had saved from one of his many flights while serving as foreign minister.
I thought of this story again when reading the enjoyable Lunch with the FT (October 4). While the author mentioned taking two bottles of wine with him to lunch with Roberto Mangabeira Unger, it was not clear whether both bottles were consumed.
If they were consumed, I can only guess that they were as small as in the aforementioned Finnish example (and thus very expensive at $38) or that the laws concerning drinking and driving are quite liberal in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Timo Strandberg, Professor, Universities of Helsinki and Oulu, Finland
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