The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era

Overview


In this incisive new book, Michael Mandelbaum argues that the era marked by an expansive American foreign policy is coming to an end. During the seven decades from the U.S. entry into World War II in 1941 to the present, economic constraints rarely limited what the United States did in the world. Now that will change. The country's soaring deficits, fueled by the huge costs of the financial crash and of its entitlement programs—Social Security and Medicare—will compel a more ...
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The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era

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Overview


In this incisive new book, Michael Mandelbaum argues that the era marked by an expansive American foreign policy is coming to an end. During the seven decades from the U.S. entry into World War II in 1941 to the present, economic constraints rarely limited what the United States did in the world. Now that will change. The country's soaring deficits, fueled by the huge costs of the financial crash and of its entitlement programs—Social Security and Medicare—will compel a more modest American international presence.

In assessing the consequences of this new, less expensive foreign policy, Mandelbaum, one of America's leading foreign policy experts, describes the policies the United States will have to discontinue, assesses the potential threats from China, Russia, and Iran, and recommends a new policy, centered on a reduction in the nation's dependence on foreign oil, which can do for America and the world in the twenty-first century what the containment of the Soviet Union did in the twentieth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Observer (UK), August 8, 2010
“Cool and concise… It isn't often that you see foreign policy, healthcare and pensions discussed in the same breath, but it makes you sit up when you do.”

Financial Times, August 8, 2010
“Mr Mandelbaum has been preaching the gospel of petrol taxes for a long time, and does so persuasively… The author is always reasonable and clear.”
 
Sunday Times (UK), August 8, 2010
“Mandelbaum is persuasive in defining the structural problems of the American economy, and the consequences.”
 
Basil & Spice, August 17, 2010
“Mandelbaum writes in... clear, easy-to-comprehend prose. I recommend The Frugal Superpower without reservation and I hope that President Barack Obama and his Cabinet and advisors and Congress will follow the sensible policies advocated by its author.”
 
Pajamas Media, August 13, 2010
“My friend Michael Mandelbaum has a new book out this month with the timely title and theme The Frugal Superpower. It’s also short, as if Michael were reminding us this is not a good moment to overspend on excess paper in our cash-strapped world. As an advocate of the short book in general (with some obvious exceptions), I call that a win-win.”
 
Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, September 4, 2010
“Very timely”

Harvard Magazine
“It’s easy to be powerful (if not loved) when rich. But what happens when the chief guarantor of world security becomes less so? The author, of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, sees a more modest U.S. profile, and less imported oil.”
 
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, December 13, 2010
“In explaining the connection between recent domestic policy developments and U.S. foreign policy, the author provides an uncomplicated foundation for understanding the direct line between politics and economics.”
 

WashingtonDiplomat, February, 2011
“The book, released in August 2010, is timely not only because of lingering uncertainties surrounding the supposed economic recovery, but also because of the underlying, long-term issues it addresses. Mandelbaum makes a strong, clear case that America’s unrestrained foreign policy will crack under the weight of crippling deficits — fueled by the huge costs of the financial crash and the nation’s entitlement programs.”
 
Modern Judaism, February, 2011
“An excellent…account of a country whose historic poverty, exacerbated by the Vietnam War, remains remarkably unchanged.”

Vingtieme Siecle
, January 20, 2011

“This concise and elegant history of ‘Commentary’ is a good introduction for those looking to understand the influence and role of the monthly in the intellectual wars of the post-WWII United States.”
 

Domestic Fuel, February 15, 2011
“This book offers the best case I have ever seen that oil is a major risk to American security and presents it in a way that a true politician, worried about foreign relations, cannot deny why our country needs to move to renewable energy.”

CHOICE, April 2011 “Mandelbaum presents a solid argument for a third strategy in ‘a cash-strapped era’--to reduce US oil consumption by imposing a gasoline tax…Highly recommended.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586489168
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy; Director of the American Foreign Policy Program at Johns Hopkins, SAIS. He is a former faculty member at Harvard University, Columbia University and the U.S. Naval Academy; his Ph.D. in political science came from Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction 1

Chapter One The Tyranny of Numbers 9

A New Era 9

Entitlements 19

Foreign Policy Limits 29

Chapter Two The Novelty of Scarcity 35

The Arc of American Foreign Policy 35

The Limits of American Decline 46

The World's Government 54

Chapter Three Adaptation to Scarcity 65

The Seat Belt Effect 65

The End of Intervention 78

The Limits of Cooperation 91

Chapter Four The Return of Great-Power Politics? 101

The Global Security Order 101

China 112

Russia 125

Chapter Five The Heart of Geopolitics 137

The Middle East 137

Oil 156

The New Containment 165

Conclusion 181

Index 195

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    If you want to understand American foreign policy from 2011-2021, this is the book to read

    Michael Mandelbaum is one of the clearest thinkers and best writers on international affairs today. This book is must-reading for anyone interested in how the US will have to deal with the spiraling debt and the nation's sinking economic power. Highest recommendation.

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    Posted January 7, 2011

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    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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