Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century


Brzezinski provides a stark and realistic look at the world's economy and moral crisis in a brilliant analysis of today's geopolitical order.
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Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century

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Brzezinski provides a stark and realistic look at the world's economy and moral crisis in a brilliant analysis of today's geopolitical order.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The United States's role as the number one superpower could be undermined by the global impact of America's own values, warns Brzezinski. A ``permissive cornucopia'' is his term for the advanced Western nations, and the U.S. in particular, where spiritual emptiness, addiction to television and superfluous consumption preoccupy a society given over to self-gratification without moral restraints. The former National Security Council director opens this blistering jeremiad with a trenchant analysis of the political mythologies that Hitler, Lenin and Stalin used to wield total control. If America is to reassert its moral legitimacy, he argues, it must address its basic dilemmas, including deepening poverty, inadequate health care and education, a greedy wealthy class opposed to progressive taxation, and the mass media's promotion of sex and violence. In the new world of rival global power clusters, Brzezinski urges a greater role for the United Nations and ``redistribution of responsibilities'' within the trilateral nexus of Europe, America and East Asia. First serial to World Monitor. (Apr.)
Library Journal
President Carter's former national security adviser has produced his fourth book in ten years. The last one, The Grand Failure ( LJ 4/15/89), chronicled the decline of communism. This time, Brzezinski joins other recent writers like George F. Kennan ( Around the Craggy Hill, LJ 1/93) and Paul Kennedy ( Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, LJ 3/1/93) in describing the possible dark future facing the United States and the rest of the world. Unlike Kennedy, Brzezinski does not clutter his text with footnotes and references but simply tells it as he sees it in an extended thought-piece. Characterizing the present century as one of megadeath and organized insanity with the complete failure of totalitarian utopias, Brzezinski argues that only through a fundamental realignment of humankind's ethical and moral behavior will we survive into the next century. He sees a trilateral political and economic alliance among North America, Europe, and East Asia developing over the next few years and predicts an enhanced role for the United Nations. As a thinker and writer on world affairs for over 30 years, Brzezinski is worth considering. Recommended for larger collections.-- Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. , Ames, Ia.
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant and principled analysis of the perilous state of a fractious world as it approaches another millennium. Brzezinski (The Grand Failure, 1989, etc.), director of the National Security Council during the Carter Administration, offers an unsparing appraisal of the current century and views the next with considerable skepticism, even trepidation. Looking backward, he accords short shrift to Communism, Nazism, and other totalitarian movements that attempted, at staggering cost, to establish coercive utopias. But while yesteryear's metamyths have been thoroughly discredited, the author remains unconvinced that liberal democracy can fill the resultant vacuums. Indeed, he contends, the West's advanced, affluent societies could forfeit their influence if they don't halt a self-indulgent slide into conspicuous consumption and relativist hedonism. Although the cold war's end has left the planet with but one superpower, Brzezinski insists that America must be guided by globally relevant virtues if it is to exercise authentic authority. In light of the geopolitical instability exacerbated by the Soviet Union's collapse, the author says, America's socioeconomic and cultural woes may undermine its capacity to control events, and, unless the country sets its own house in order (e.g., by forsaking permissiveness and reaffirming bedrock moral values), US ascendancy may be short-lived. Brzezinski identifies regional belligerencies in Eurasia, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the continuation of the conflicts that pit South against North, and the risk of a fascist renaissance as obstacles to the creation of a consensus that could make the world a comparatively peaceablekingdom. A masterful, if dour, synthesis. (First serial to World Monitor)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684826363
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 0.59 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (born March 28, 1928) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Politics of Organized Insanity 1
1 The Century of Megadeath 7
2 The Centrality of Metamyth 19
3 Coercive Utopia 32
Pt. II Beyond Political Awakening 45
1 The Victory of Small Beliefs 57
2 Permissive Cornucopia 64
3 Philosophical Polarization 75
Pt. III The Peerless Global Power 85
1 The Paradox of Global Power 91
2 The Dissonant Message 102
3 The Faceless Rivals 116
Pt. IV Dilemmas of Global Disorder 147
1 The Geopolitical Vacuum 155
2 The Vengeful Phoenix 167
3 The Giant of Global Inequality 182
Pt. V The Illusion of Control 201
Acknowledgments 233
Index 235
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