Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower

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Overview

The three presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush span just two decades, but they cover a pivotally important time: the period in which the United States, having emerged from the Cold War as the unquestioned victor, enjoyed a degree of international dominance that was unprecedented in the history of the world. These three American presidents were not mere heads of state but the de facto leaders of the world.

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Overview

The three presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush span just two decades, but they cover a pivotally important time: the period in which the United States, having emerged from the Cold War as the unquestioned victor, enjoyed a degree of international dominance that was unprecedented in the history of the world. These three American presidents were not mere heads of state but the de facto leaders of the world.

Second Chance is a dispassionate, unsparing assessment of how these three presidents performed as history's first true global leaders, and how that performance was influenced by their personal leadership styles. ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, America's most distinguished commentator on international affairs, concludes that in these years the United States squandered a great deal of its power and prestige. None of the three presidents escapes criticism, though the blame is by no means shared equally. Brzezinski concludes by recommending how America can regain its global stature in an era of global political awakening. With a new Afterword adding further insight, Second Chance provides not only a critical appraisal but also a permanently useful guide for America's long-term role in the world.

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Editorial Reviews

James M. Lindsay
In his engaging and briskly argued new book, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser sees little worth emulating in the past 15 years of U.S. foreign policy. He asks how Washington has led since becoming the world's first truly global leader after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His answer? "In a word, badly."
— The Washington Post
Michiko Kakutani
In his compelling new book, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, Mr. Brzezinski not only assesses the short- and long-term fallout of the Iraq war, but also puts that grim situation in perspective with the tumultuous global changes that have taken place in the last two decades. He dispassionately analyzes American foreign policy as conducted by the last three presidents — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush — and he gives the reader a sobering analysis of where these leaders’ cumulative decisions have left the United States as it now searches for an exit strategy from Iraq, faces potentially explosive situations in Iran and North Korea and copes with an increasingly alienated Europe and an increasingly assertive China.
— The New York Times
Foreign Affairs
Brzezinski's latest book is a passionate polemic arguing thatU.S. foreign policy since 1989 has been deeply flawed. According to Second Chance, the errors and misjudgments of the current Bush administration, although significantly more egregious and damaging than those of its immediate predecessors, proceed at least in part from some common assumptions about the United States' world role following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Brzezinski's ability to see that the problems did not start with the current Bush administration gives his analysis depth and credibility; his critiques of all three post-Cold War administrations score telling points. Yet despite it all, Brzezinski remains optimistic. There are no real alternatives to U.S. world leadership, and most major countries agree that the world still needs a stabilizing leader. That so cogent and frank a critic should find so much latent strength in the United States' international position is a remarkable and perhaps encouraging sign. In any case, Brzezinski's reputation will be further enhanced by yet another lively, sweeping, and learned tour d'horizon of a troubled world.
From the Publisher
"Brilliantly provocative.... Brzezinski covers a great deal of ground with dispatch and verve.... His book is never less than exciting." —-The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641963308
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski served as national security adviser to President Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Reader of over four hundred audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie Awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of Golden Voices.

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Table of Contents

The Challenge of Global Leadership     1
The Mists of Victory: (and the Spawning of Clashing Historical Visions)     17
Confused Expectations
The Search for Certitude
The Original Sin: (and the Pitfalls of Conventional Imagination)     45
Victorious Diplomacy
Forsaken Triumph
The Impotence of Good Intentions: (and the Price of Self-Indulgence)     83
Shaping the Future
Confronting the Past
Catastrophic Leadership: (and the Politics of Fear)     135
"The Central Front" as the Cemetery of Neocon Dreams
And the Rest of the World
Beyond 2008: (and America's Second Chance)     179
How Has America Led?
Will America Have a Second Chance?
The Geopolitics of Global Political Awakening
Afterthoughts on Iraq and the War on Terror     217
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony: Zbigniew Brzezinski
Terrorized by "War on Terror": How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
Acknowledgments     231
Index     233

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Customer Reviews

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