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From the Publisher“’Nation-building can only work when the people own it.’ Jeremi Suri argues that the United States has too often forgotten this truth over the course of its nation-building history—including the American revolution and Reconstruction as well as efforts in the Philippines, Germany, Japan, and Vietnam—in which there have been both successes and failures. Suri draws lessons from all these efforts that are particularly valuable today, while making the provocative argument that as hard as we wish to deny it, nation-building is part of American DNA.”
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
Praise for Jeremi Suri's Henry Kissinger and the American Century
"This surely the best book yet published about Henry Kissinger..Suri actually makes an attempt to understand his subject in the appropriate historical context. I salute his scholarship. Invaluable insight." —Niall Ferguson, author of The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West
"This remarkable book is far more than a biography of Henry Kissinger. By probing Kissinger's personal background and intellectual formation as well as his often cunning and frequently controversial statecraft, Jeremi Suri brilliantly illuminates both the character of Kissinger the man and the nature of the turbulent and tension-racked age in which he lived and did so much—for better or worse—to shape."
—David M. Kennedy, author of Freedom from Fear
"This is a readable and provocative book that successfully explores the formation of its subject's worldview and rise to power. Suri is at his best when demonstrating the roots of Kissinger's distrust of mass democratic politics, his obsession with strong leaders, his emphasis on the limits of American power and his disdain for the 'insular self-righteousness' and 'utopianism' of reformers 'advocating a vision of global democracy'...[A] timely book."
—Eric Arnesen, Chicago Tribune
"Nobody will ever accuse Jeremi Suri of lacking style or insight. His study of Henry Kissinger's personality and place in history offers piercing originality—so much so that laying down Dallek for Suri feels rather like that moment in The Prince and the Showgirl when Laurence Olivier, after telling all and sundry that they have too little love in their life, meets his ex-mistress...and realizes that she has too much."
—David Frum, National Review
"The fact that even highly educated Americans are scarcely aware of this past has made it difficult for the United States to learn from its experiences. Suri hopes to correct this, and his brief historical sketches can be useful for policy makers and those who write about American foreign policy — if only to remind them that what Americans have been doing in Afghanistan and Iraq has been done countless times by their predecessors in many other distant lands." –Robert Kagan, New York Times
"Suri’s core conclusion is sound: nation building is difficult, expensive, and unpleasant, and at best it can be only partially successful — but it is often unavoidable." – Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs
“The definitive one-volume historical account of Americans’ efforts to transform other societies.”–International Affairs