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Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence
     

Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence

by Robert P. Newman
 

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This book is a review of major post-World War II American foreign policy decisions made by authorities who were blinded by ideology. In each of the nine situations examined, accurate evidence was available and even known to many of the decision makers, but chauvinism, anti-Communism, or willful left-wing or right-wing ideological predilections carried the day. In the

Overview

This book is a review of major post-World War II American foreign policy decisions made by authorities who were blinded by ideology. In each of the nine situations examined, accurate evidence was available and even known to many of the decision makers, but chauvinism, anti-Communism, or willful left-wing or right-wing ideological predilections carried the day. In the preface, Newman takes as his guiding light the words of Corey Robin: «The twentieth century, it’s said, taught us a simple lesson about politics: of all the motivations for political action, none is as lethal as ideology. The lust for money may be distasteful, the desire for power ignoble, but neither will drive its devotees to the criminal excess of an idea on the march.»
The analytical-critical essays comprising this volume sweep across the post-war period, from the Hiroshima decision through Bush and Iraq. Government documents, scholarly analyses, and Newman’s own acerbic arguments both entertain and inform readers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«For more than six decades, Robert P. Newman has been the foremost scholar of U.S. foreign policy discourse. Newman’s penetrating and insightful critiques of the speeches and media articles that influence public opinion have shaped scholarly dialogues for generations of academics in communication studies, political science, and international relations. The book deserves a significant audience and will be cited for years to come.» (Thomas A. Hollihan, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California)
«This book represents the culmination of a career devoted to the critical study of the public arguments and ideological commitments that have shaped American foreign policy since the end of World War II. For more than six decades, Robert P. Newman has been the foremost scholar of U.S. foreign policy discourse. Newman’s penetrating and insightful critiques of the speeches and media articles that influence public opinion have shaped scholarly dialogues for generations of academics in communication studies, political science, and international relations. ‘Invincible Ignorance’ includes chapters on the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Iran, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Newman is often sharply critical of U.S. foreign policy and laments that our often uninformed citizens have been so frequently misled by the profiteers of protracted conflicts. Yet this is a book written by a true patriot devoted to improving foreign policy by enhancing the quality of public debate in the U.S. The book deserves a significant audience and will be cited for years to come.» (Thomas A. Hollihan, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California)
«‘Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy’ unveils recurrent, ideologically driven, foreign policy decision-making and its dire short- and long-term consequences for the United States. Beginning with World War II and ending with the 2003 Iraq War, Newman’s tenacious and thorough review of the available archival evidence unmasks previously misleading academic accounts and revisionist historical interpretations promulgated by involved policy-makers. This volume is an insightful, engaging reference guide to the key players, their behind-the-scenes ideological battles, and the critical action points of American foreign policy over the past sixty years.» (Carol Kay Winkler, Professor of Communication, Georgia State University )
«Robert P. Newman is a treasure, and a model of what scholarship ought to be. As always, if you plan on disagreeing with him, you had better come to play. And if you want to learn about evidence, it would be hard to do better than to start with the footnotes of this book.» (Cori E. Dauber, Visiting Research Scholar, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College)
«Those of us who were children during WWII pledged allegiance to the flag, hid under our desks, watched bomb shelters being built, and we assumed our elders acted in the public interest – at least that was how I viewed the situation as a lieutenant in the newly minted United States Air Force of the early 1960s. But people like Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse, on whose campaign I worked after my tour in Vietnam, and Robert P. Newman, who wrote the book on evidence and foreign policy debate, raised questions about some of our government’s major commitments and decisions. Through them we learned about ulterior motives and subterfuges used to justify and rally support for foreign policy decisions, some of which put troops in harm’s way. The commitment of Robert P. Newman, and a few of his peers, to the truth, wherever it may lead, is still helping us sort through the situations where our United

«For more than six decades, Robert P. Newman has been the foremost scholar of U.S. foreign policy discourse. Newman’s penetrating and insightful critiques of the speeches and media articles that influence public opinion have shaped scholarly dialogues for generations of academics in communication studies, political science, and international relations. The book deserves a significant audience and will be cited for years to come.» (Thomas A. Hollihan, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California)
«This book represents the culmination of a career devoted to the critical study of the public arguments and ideological commitments that have shaped American foreign policy since the end of World War II. For more than six decades, Robert P. Newman has been the foremost scholar of U.S. foreign policy discourse. Newman’s penetrating and insightful critiques of the speeches and media articles that influence public opinion have shaped scholarly dialogues for generations of academics in communication studies, political science, and international relations. ‘Invincible Ignorance’ includes chapters on the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Iran, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Newman is often sharply critical of U.S. foreign policy and laments that our often uninformed citizens have been so frequently misled by the profiteers of protracted conflicts. Yet this is a book written by a true patriot devoted to improving foreign policy by enhancing the quality of public debate in the U.S. The book deserves a significant audience and will be cited for years to come.» (Thomas A. Hollihan, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California
«‘Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy’ unveils recurrent, ideologically driven, foreign policy decision-making and its dire short- and long-term consequences for the United States. Beginning with World War II and ending with the 2003 Iraq War, Newman’s tenacious and thorough review of the available archival evidence unmasks previously misleading academic accounts and revisionist historical interpretations promulgated by involved policy-makers. This volume is an insightful, engaging reference guide to the key players, their behind-the-scenes ideological battles, and the critical action points of American foreign policy over the past sixty years.» (Carol Kay Winkler, Professor of Communication, Georgia State University )
«Robert P. Newman is a treasure, and a model of what scholarship ought to be. As always, if you plan on disagreeing with him, you had better come to play. And if you want to learn about evidence, it would be hard to do better than to start with the footnotes of this book.» (Cori E. Dauber, Visiting Research Scholar, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College)
«Those of us who were children during WWII pledged allegiance to the flag, hid under our desks, watched bomb shelters being built, and we assumed our elders acted in the public interest – at least that was how I viewed the situation as a lieutenant in the newly minted United States Air Force of the early 1960s. But people like Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse, on whose campaign I worked after my tour in Vietnam, and Robert P. Newman, who wrote the book on evidence and foreign policy debate, raised questions about some of our government’s major commitments and decisions. Through them we learned about ulterior motives and subterfuges used to justify and rally support for foreign policy decisions, some of which put troops in harm’s way. The commitment of Robert P. Newman, and a few of his peers, to the truth, wherever it may lead, is still helping us sort through the situations where our United

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433121326
Publisher:
Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date:
11/30/2012
Series:
Frontiers in Political Communication Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Robert P. Newman completed a BA at the University of Redlands, was a MacLeish Scholar at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in politics, philosophy and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and was granted a PhD from the University of Connecticut. He spent most of his career at the University of Pittsburgh. His eight books on debate and evidence, recognition of Communist China, Cold War controversies over government figures, Truman and the Hiroshima cult, the Enola Gay controversy, and now American foreign policy since World War II earned scholarly awards from the National Communication Association and Gustav Myers Center as well as Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominations.
David Deifell (PhD, The University of Iowa) is an Associate Professor at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. Deifell has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Puget Sound, Drake University, Appalachian State University, Lees-McRae College, and East Tennessee State University and has worked actively with Amnesty International and Students Against Sweatshops. His dissertation was on educational discourses and student movement rhetoric. Deifell’s scholarship can be found in Communication Teacher and South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Yearbook. His current projects involve political communication, critical/cultural studies, historiography, communication pedagogy, and rhetorical criticism.

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