Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy

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The empathy that flooded into America from around the globe after 9/11 has faded, and now America is arguably more unpopular that it has ever been. As global anti-Americanism threatens the modern world, Loch Johnson explains how the U.S. has drifted away from the principles that made it a highly regarded global leader at the end of the Second World War. Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy explores the negative worldwide attitudes toward the U.S., identifying how the antipathy runs much deeper than American political leaders' response to the 9/11 attacks.

Johnson's compelling insight isolates seven key foreign policy issues that are at the root of America's problematic global image, causing an alarming loss of allies across the globe:


Veneration of the president




Lack of empathy


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this insightful but plodding critique of American foreign policy, national security scholar Johnson (America's Secret Power) worries that the United States is the world's most unloved "sinner." Patriots need not fear any sweeping moral condemnations of the U.S. from Johnson, however. He is just as concerned with whether U.S. policies enhance the nation's security as with whether they are righteous. The "seven sins" he warns against are American ignorance of the rest of the world; the executive branch's dominance of foreign policy; an overreliance on military solutions; a tendency to act unilaterally; a penchant for isolationism; lack of empathy for others; and a generalized arrogance. Johnson argues that in the post-9/11 era, these traits have hardened into a national "syndrome," leading much of the world to "doubt the wisdom of the United States and its capacity for global leadership." Blending liberalism and realism, his critique is strongest when examining specific policies in detail-such as U.S. arms dealing to other nations (too much) and U.S. foreign aid (not enough). Unfortunately, overly schematic analysis produces a simplistic portrait of America's international role. Despite some persuasive critiques of U.S. foreign policy, this pedantic book leaves the reader with a narrow vision of how this alleged "sinner" might find redemption. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321397942
  • Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Edition description: MAKE OP, LEAVE AS SOURCEBOOKS
  • Pages: 339
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : a heritage of ambivalence toward the world 1
1 Ignorance 55
2 Executive branch dominance 91
3 Excessive emphasis on the military 117
4 Unilateralism 152
5 Isolationism 185
6 Lack of empathy 213
7 Arrogance 249
Conclusion : toward a more worthy foreign policy 279
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