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Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order

Overview

“The international world of states and their modern system is a literary realm,” writes Charles Hill in this powerful work on the practice of international relations. “It is where the greatest issues of the human condition are played out.”

A distinguished lifelong diplomat and educator, Hill aims to revive the ancient tradition of statecraft as practiced by humane and broadly educated men and women. Through lucid and compelling discussions of classic literary works from Homer to Rushdie, Grand ...

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Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order

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Overview

“The international world of states and their modern system is a literary realm,” writes Charles Hill in this powerful work on the practice of international relations. “It is where the greatest issues of the human condition are played out.”

A distinguished lifelong diplomat and educator, Hill aims to revive the ancient tradition of statecraft as practiced by humane and broadly educated men and women. Through lucid and compelling discussions of classic literary works from Homer to Rushdie, Grand Strategies represents a merger of literature and international relations, inspired by the conviction that “a grand strategist . . . needs to be immersed in classic texts from Sun Tzu to Thucydides to George Kennan, to gain real-world experience through internships in the realms of statecraft, and to bring this learning and experience to bear on contemporary issues.”

This fascinating and engaging introduction to the basic concepts of the international order not only defines what it is to build a civil society through diplomacy, justice, and lawful governance but also describes how these ideas emerge from and reflect human nature.

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Editorial Reviews

American Interest

“A truly masterful synthesis. . . . A kaleidoscopic masterpiece that illuminates all it surveys.”--Edward N. Luttwak, American Interest

— Edward N. Luttwak

Wall Street Journal

Grand Strategies concerns statesmanship and strategy: the uses of power, the fate of alliances, war and peace. It also, happily, provides a tour through the Great Books, giving special attention to nation-states and their vexed relations.”--William Anthony Hay, Wall Street Journal

— William Anthony Hay

Foreign Affairs

"A fascinating book that has the feel of a life''s work. . . . Hill affirms the intellectual endeavor of looking at the world through a literary lens. . . . At a deeper level, the book is about the fragility of order and the struggle of statesmen to balance, restrain, and legitimate state power."--John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

— John Ikenberry

The New Criterion

"The originality of this book lies . . . in the argument that these works have actually shaped the world of nations because of the influence they have on kings, princes, generals, and statesmen. . . . Grand Strategies is an unusual volume, filled with sharp insights about a daunting list of writers and circuitous pathways and detours that eventually lead the reader to hidden destinations. It makes its case diplomatically by drawing the reader into a way of thinking about the political world rather than by pressing a single argument or set of conclusions. It is as original as it is unusual, the rare volume that provokes neither agreement nor disagreement, but rather independent thought about the worlds we have lost and the one we have inherited."—James Piereson, The New Criterion

— James Piereson

American Interest - Edward N. Luttwak
“A truly masterful synthesis. . . . A kaleidoscopic masterpiece that illuminates all it surveys.”—Edward N. Luttwak, American Interest
Foreign Affairs - John Ikenberry
"A fascinating book that has the feel of a life's work. . . . Hill affirms the intellectual endeavor of looking at the world through a literary lens. . . . At a deeper level, the book is about the fragility of order and the struggle of statesmen to balance, restrain, and legitimate state power."—John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs
Wall Street Journal - William Anthony Hay
Grand Strategies concerns statesmanship and strategy: the uses of power, the fate of alliances, war and peace. It also, happily, provides a tour through the Great Books, giving special attention to nation-states and their vexed relations.”—William Anthony Hay, Wall Street Journal
John Gaddis
"A remarkable book. . . . Hill is the exemplification of the Clausewitzian coup d’oeil—the ability to see how everything connects to everything else."—John Gaddis, Yale University
Donald Kagan
"Charles Hill's Grand Strategies is a gem that combines long and valuable practical experience with the wisdom that comes from a broad and deep knowledge of history, literature and philosophy to produce a wisdom badly needed by statesmen and diplomats."—Donald Kagan, Yale University
Henry A. Kissinger
"In an age of short attention spans and disaggregated facts, Charles Hill does much to revive two venerable traditions—the classical ideal of statesmanship, and the close engagement with great texts.”—Henry A. Kissinger
Harvey Mansfield
"Charles Hill's Grand Strategies transcends the tired categories of realism and idealism in the study of politics. Drawing from such as Aristotle and Homer, he spans centuries and circles the globe, always gazing from the standpoint of greatness. A sage and powerful book."—Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University
The New Criterion - James Piereson
"The originality of this book lies . . . in the argument that these works have actually shaped the world of nations because of the influence they have on kings, princes, generals, and statesmen. . . . Grand Strategies is an unusual volume, filled with sharp insights about a daunting list of writers and circuitous pathways and detours that eventually lead the reader to hidden destinations. It makes its case diplomatically by drawing the reader into a way of thinking about the political world rather than by pressing a single argument or set of conclusions. It is as original as it is unusual, the rare volume that provokes neither agreement nor disagreement, but rather independent thought about the worlds we have lost and the one we have inherited."—James Piereson, The New Criterion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300171334
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 451,974
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Hill, a career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution as well as Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Grand Strategy, Senior Lecturer in International Studies, and Senior Lecturer in Humanities at Yale University. He lives in New Haven, CT.

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Table of Contents

Works Discussed in This Book ix

Prologue: Books of the Red Chamber 1

1 Classical Orders 9

2 Creative Disorder 49

3 Sources of Modern World Order 73

4 What Kind of State? 88

5 Enlightenment: Critique of Diplomacy, State, and System 118

6 America: A New Idea 134

7 Disorder and War 177

8 The Imported State 232

9 The Writer and the State 282

Epilogue: Talleyrand and Everything Else 293

Notes 299

Bibliography 325

Acknowledgments 344

Index 347

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 8, 2011

    5 out of 5

    This book was an enlightening experience. I leaned more from this book about politics and statecraft then my entire undergraduate poli-sci classes. I could not recommend this book enough.

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