Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq / Edition 1

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Overview

Stanley Hoffmann reflects here on the proper place of the United States in a world it has defined almost exclusively by 9/11, the war on terrorism, and the invasion of Iraq. His analysis of the latter focuses on the misconceptions, ignorance, and incompetence of the Bush administration and shows how damaging this war of choice has been for America's reputation in the world.
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Editorial Reviews

International Journal On World Peace
Gulliver Unbound is an engrossing, critical, and provocative account of the factors that led the U.S. on the path of imperial adventurism particularly following 9/11, how this impacted U.S. relations with its NATO allies and with the rest of the world, and how it led to intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. In conclusion, this is a splendid little book. It reflects the author's deep insight, erudition, and concern for humanity and for a sane international system. It is highly recommended for courses in international relations, comparative politics, and Middle East politics.
Foreign Affairs
Throughout his distinguished career, Hoffmann has remained intellectually and personally bound to both America and France. In this engaging little book, he brings his accumulated wisdom and cosmopolitan sensibilities to bear on the current crisis in U.S.-European relations. The book, taking the form of an extended interview conducted by the French scholar Frédéric Bozo, is full of insights—and worries. They begin with a detailed discussion of the diplomatic missteps leading up to the Iraq war, then pull back and ponder the longer-term historical shifts that are unsettling transatlantic relations. Hoffmann's thesis is that today's transatlantic discord is different from past conflicts in the West—the crucial difference being the "philosophy" of the Bush administration regarding how to exercise power and treat disagreements among allies, and the lack of awareness in Europe of the depth of these shifts. Hoffmann notes that French leaders thought that their opposition to an Iraq war would be similar to their dissent on Vietnam, not realizing that Iraq was not seen in Washington as just another "out of area" adventure. His larger message is unmistakable: allies cannot be "treated as tins of polish for American boots" but must be partners in building a less unruly world.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Gulliver Unbound can be read in one sitting and contains a great deal of wisdom, not least of which is the observation, 'Iraq has become a trap for the Americans and a godsend for terrorists.'
— Chalmers Johnson
American Prospect
A witheringly accurate critique of the hubris and folly of the Bush administration. Hoffmann is generally dead on target in his condemnation of the Bush administration, the conceptual idiocy of the 'war on terror,' and the wider chauvinism, ignorance, and Francophobia of the U.S. establishment and media.
— Anatol Lieven
Political Science Quarterly
This little book, conceived and presented largely as a series of conversations between Hoffmann and a French former student, does not disappoint. Stanley Hoffmann's is a powerful and liberal voice in a post-September 11 American that has too often seemed bereft of such voices.
Foreign Affairs
Throughout his distinguished career, Hoffmann has remained intellectually and personally bound to both America and France. In this engaging little book, he brings his accumulated wisdom and cosmopolitan sensibilities to bear on the current crisis in U.S.-European relations.... Full of insights—and worries.
— G. John Ikenberry
Samantha Power
Stanley Hoffmann is America's wisest and most seasoned observer of transatlantic events. In Gulliver Unbound he delivers indispensable commentary on the hubris of America's imperial adventurism, the flaws in its approach to combating terrorism, and the future of the European-American relationship.
The San Diego Union-Tribune - Chalmers Johnson
Gulliver Unbound can be read in one sitting and contains a great deal of wisdom, not least of which is the observation, 'Iraq has become a trap for the Americans and a godsend for terrorists.'
Foreign Affairs - G. John Ikenberry
Throughout his distinguished career, Hoffmann has remained intellectually and personally bound to both America and France. In this engaging little book, he brings his accumulated wisdom and cosmopolitan sensibilities to bear on the current crisis in U.S.-European relations.... Full of insights—and worries.
American Prospect - Anatol Lieven
"A witheringly accurate critique of the hubris and folly of the Bush administration. Hoffmann is generally dead on target in his condemnation of the Bush administration, the conceptual idiocy of the 'war on terror,' and the wider chauvinism, ignorance, and Francophobia of the U.S. establishment and media.
Robert O. Keohane
Americans who wish to halt the drift toward imperialism should read this book.
International Journal on World Peace
Gulliver Unbound is an engrossing, critical, and provocative account of the factors that led the U.S. on the path of imperial adventurism particularly following 9/11, how this impacted U.S. relations with its NATO allies and with the rest of the world, and how it led to intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. In conclusion, this is a splendid little book. It reflects the author's deep insight, erudition, and concern for humanity and for a sane international system. It is highly recommended for courses in international relations, comparative politics, and Middle East politics.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742536005
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Hoffmann is the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor at Harvard University. Frédéric Bozo is professor of contemporary history at the University of Nantes and research associate at the Institut Fran_ais des Relations Internationales.

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Table of Contents

1 The Franco-American conflict 1
2 A new American imperialism : rupture or continuity? 19
3 September 11 : divine surprise? 33
4 Chronicle of a war foretold 51
5 Gulliver unbound 67
6 After the war : the beginning (April 2003-September 2003) 81
7 The trap (October 2003-August 2004) 101
8 The future of the international system 117
Conclusion : the dangers of empire 135
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    Brilliant survey of current US foreign policy

    Stanley Hoffmann, a Professor at Harvard University and the author of many books on international affairs, has written a very insightful book on current US foreign policy. He looks at the Franco-American dispute, the question of US imperialism, 9/11, the preparations for the attack on Iraq, the war and the subsequent occupation, and the future of the international system. He writes that after 9/11, ¿the road selected by the United States was that of a declaration of `war¿ against terrorism, the creation of the notion of `illegal combatants¿, and the assimilation of states suspected of sheltering terrorists to the terrorists themselves. This was playing into their hands.¿ He suggests, ¿It is time to refocus the struggle against terrorism, by giving priority to the fight against Islamic jihadists (the most dangerous for U.S. and Western interests), and by spending far more energy on a permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, along the lines almost agreed upon at Taba in 2001 and advocated by the Geneva informal alliance of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as by Jimmy Carter.¿ He notes, ¿Nothing wholly good can come out of a war that resulted from a mix of self-deception and deliberate deception, waged in a part of the world in which alien control has for a long time fostered turmoil and tragedy. The presence of terrorism is not an invitation to empire, but an incentive for finding policies that reduce its appeal, and for pursuing the terrorists in ways that do not help them multiply. In the case of the Middle East, an exit from Iraq, combined with a new effort by the U.S., the U.N., the EU, and Russia to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and to create a livable Palestinian state, would mark a return to reality, to good sense, and to morality.¿ He concludes with some sensible proposals. He writes of Iraq, ¿There are good reasons for calling for the end of the occupation. As in Palestine, the occupation is the main cause of the current troubles (which does not mean that they will end if we leave but whatever we do to try to resolve the internal conflicts is likely to backfire). Continuing U.S. military control, direct or indirect, will feed anti-Americanism (as in post-1965 South Vietnam) and provide a training and breeding ground for terrorism, native and from other countries. American interests would be better served by a shift of U.S. resources toward ¿ the fight against al Qaeda and its allies around the world ¿ who have become more diversified and decentralized and continue to receive manpower and support from schools and factions in officially pro-American states such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.¿ We do indeed need to focus on defeating Islamic jihadists. The barbaric bombing of Londoners on Thursday 7 July is to be utterly condemned, without qualification. The inhuman fascists who carried out, or connived in, these acts, wish to push us into a dark age of unreason and fear. They will try to blame their inhumanity on others. But terrorists are responsible for their crimes and we must hold them to account. There can be no excuses given. All of us must assist to unmask these mass murderers.

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