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To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine
     

To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine

by Melvyn P. Leffler
 

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U.S. national security policy is at a critically important crossroads. The Bush Doctrine of unilateralism, pre-emptive war, and the imposition of democracy by force has proven disastrous. The United States now finds itself vilified abroad, weakened at home, and bogged down in a seemingly endless and unwinnable war. In To Lead the World, Melvyn P. Leffler and

Overview

U.S. national security policy is at a critically important crossroads. The Bush Doctrine of unilateralism, pre-emptive war, and the imposition of democracy by force has proven disastrous. The United States now finds itself vilified abroad, weakened at home, and bogged down in a seemingly endless and unwinnable war. In To Lead the World, Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro bring together eleven of America's most esteemed writers and thinkers to offer concrete, historically grounded suggestions for how America can regain its standing in the world and use its power more wisely than it has during the Bush years. Best-selling authors such as David Kennedy, Niall Ferguson, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, and Samantha Power address such issues as how the US can regain its respect in the world, respond to the biggest threats now facing the country, identify reasonable foreign policy goals, manage the growing debt burden, achieve greater national security, and successfully engage a host of other problems left unsolved and in many cases exacerbated by the Bush Doctrine. Representing a wide range of perspectives, the writers gathered here place the current foreign-policy predicament firmly in the larger context of American and world history and draw upon realistic appraisals of both the strengths and the limits of American power. They argue persuasively that the kind of leadership that made the United States a great--and greatly admired--nation in the past can be revitalized to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Written by prize-winning authors and filled with level-headed, far-sighted, and achievable recommendations, To Lead the World will serve as a primary source of political wisdom in the post-Bush era and will add immeasurably to the policy debates surrounding the 2008 presidential election.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The 13 academic and public intellectuals convened in this collection of essays on geopolitics agree on some things: the importance of American leadership; the desirability of free trade; the threats posed by global warming, Islamist radicalism and nuclear proliferation; the ineptitude, if not criminality, of Bush's foreign policy. But there are significant points of contention. Should America assert its military power independently or work through global institutions and international concerts? Should it promote democracy abroad or back stable autocracies? Is the nation-state essential or irrelevant? The contributors run the gamut from hawks like James Kurth—who wants America to be a "Boss of Bosses" and "ruthlessly devastate" its opponents—to doves like Francis Fukuyama, who endorses "foreign policy as social work." In thought-provoking pieces, David Kennedy calls for a draft lottery to dispel an incipient "American Caesarism" facilitated by the professional military, and Niall Ferguson throws a contrarian curveball asserting the impossibility of fighting a pre-emptive war against terrorism. There's not much ideological coherence, but there is plenty of lively debate and rich food for thought. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"This is a smart book. Melvyn Leffler and Jeffrey Legro have put together an all-star cast...It is interesting that a book that lambasts the havoc wrought by George W. Bush ends up calling, not for a radical departure from extensive American involvement with the world, but rather a change in the tone, shape, and implementation of that involvement."—H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews

"An able and diverse set of analysts propose strategies for American leadership after the Bush years. This would make interesting reading for the next president!"—Joseph S. Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University and author of The Powers to Lead

"Plenty of lively debate and rich food for thought."—Publishers Weekly

"If you have to choose only one book to read on American foreign policy in 2008, this should be it. A superb group of scholars and practitioners have crystallized the basic strategic choices and policy options facing a new administration. They disagree sharply among themselves, but these are exactly the debates that Americans, and people around the world, should be having."—Anne-Marie Slaughter, co-director of Princeton Project on National Security, Princeton University

"A timely, readable and useful book, for policymakers and citizens alike. Leffler and Legro have assembled just the right thinkers, with just the right degree of diversity in their views, to address the major issues of our time and the crucial question of how the U.S. can regain its leadership of the international community."—Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution

"With U.S. foreign policy in shambles and with even more crises on the horizon, the next president has to actually read this book. The only chance of our coming out of the next several years in one piece is to have a good strategy, and these challenging essays tell the president what his/her strategic choices will be."—Leslie H. Gelb, former New York Times columnist

"Plenty of lively debate and rich food for thought."—Publishers Weekly

"An unusually interesting and useful collection of essays on possible directions for U.S. foreign policy under new administration... [by] some of today's most important and cogent thinkers on U.S. foreign policy."—Foreign Affairs

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199888023
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/21/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Melvyn P. Leffler is Edward Stettinius Professor of American History at the University of Virginia, and the author of For the Soul of Mankind. Jeffrey W. Legro is Compton Professor of World Politics and Chair, Department of Politics at the University of Virginia and the author of Rethinking the World.

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