A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush: Dreams of Perfectibility

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $25.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 76%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $25.98   
  • New (5) from $68.40   
  • Used (2) from $25.98   


Professor Joan Hoff’s A Faustian Foreign Policy: Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush critiques U.S. foreign policy during this period by showing how moralistic diplomacy has increasingly taken on Faustian overtones. As long as the ideological outcome of the Cold War remained in doubt, there was little reason for presidents or government decision makers to question the unethical aspects of U.S. relations with the rest of the world or the universal and exceptional nature of American values. September 11 allowed the United States to assert its exceptionalism and dominance more unilaterally than ever before.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Joan Hoff is universally recognized as among our most distinguished and perceptive historians of the American presidency and US foreign policy. In A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush she has produced another perceptive, graceful and informative history that targets and explains the deadly combination that too often has led our nation astray: grand visions conceived in a myopic haze of American exceptionalism. It is a major achievement."
-Martin J. Sherwin, George Mason University; Co-author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, 2006 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography

“Joan Hoff has given us a superb critical analysis of post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy. But her book is most important in providing a powerful insight which has been missing from too much recent analysis: how that post-9/11 foreign policy catastrophe comes directly out of how Americans have been viewing and making their foreign policy over the past several centuries. The 17th-century American ‘City on a Hill’ exceptionalist belief (emphasized by Ronald Reagan), the religious Manifest Destiny of the 19th-century which climaxed in Civil War, and, above all, the haunting illusions of Woodrow Wilson’s export-democracy-to-the world — all, as Hoff masterfully and succinctly explains, are absolutely necessary for us to understand if we are also to understand — and correct — post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy disasters.”
-Walter LaFeber, Tisch University Professor at Cornell University

“With customary insight and erudition, and passion to diagnose what ills the United States at this moment in time, Joan Hoff shows how blind faith in American exceptionalism has produced a century of foreign policy that perverted, and threatens to destroy, the nation’s values. That does not have to happen. Like no book since William Appleman William’s The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, Hoff’s study powerfully demonstrates that a better future for America (and the world) lies in coming to terms with the corrupt bargains of the past. By so doing, citizens and leaders together can recover their nation’s lost honor.”
-William O. Walker III, University of Toronto

“In this brilliant book, Joan Hoff deftly explores how the myth of unparalleled virtue has cloaked an increasingly sordid reality of U.S. foreign policy. If more Americans shared her wisdom, they would live in a better nation and a better world.”
-Lawrence S. Wittner, State University of New York, Albany; Editor of Peace Action

"Hoff bases this well-written narrative on solid research and a clear moral standpoint...The American public and its leaders—not only historians—should ponder this excellent, disturbing book."
The Historian, Richard T. Fry, Illinois College

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521879057
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2007
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Hoff is the former CEO and President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency in New York City, former Executive Secretary of the Organization of American Historians, and former Professor of History and Director of the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University. She is now Research Professor of History at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: foundations of U.S. Faustian foreign policy; 1. America forms and refines its diplomacy; 2. The impact of World War I on U.S. diplomacy; 3. Faustian aspects of prosperity, depression, and war; 4. Faustian aspects of U.S. Cold War foreign policy; 5. Cold War transformation of the American presidency; 6. The United States adrift in the post-Cold War world; 7. Flaunting U.S. Faustian foreign policy; Epilogue: the legacy of George W. Bush.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)