The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World / Edition 1

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Since its founding in 1922, Foreign Affairs has been the world’s leading journal of international relations, a distinction earned by providing the most insightful and far-reaching commentary on global politics and economic policy available anywhere. America has increasingly played a pivotal role in world events, whether military, political, economic, or ideological, and Foreign Affairs and its contributors have been at the center of each debate.It was in Foreign Affairs that George Kennan first proposed the policy of containment that became the touchstone of U.S. strategy during the Cold War; that statesmen-scholars like Henry Kissinger and Arthur Schlesinger have debated the contentious issues of nuclear weapons and human rights; that journalists like Walter Lippmann and James Reston have offered prescient analyses of American foreign policy; and that thinkers like Isaiah Berlin and Samuel Huntington have explained the changing nature of the world. In The American Encounter, readers will find these landmark essays and many more in a unique intellectual history of this century and of the extraordinary role that America has played in it.There is no other book like this, because there is no other publication like Foreign Affairs. The American Encounter is a powerful link to the giants of history—those visionaries whose warnings and advice still speak to us today, offering wisdom, insight, and a greater understanding of America’s place in the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the advantage of hindsight, Foreign Affairs editor Hoge and managing editor Zakaria have distilled 75 years of their journal. The 42 essayswritten, of course, without the benefit of hindsightmake for a compelling overview of the major political and economic issues of our time. A few pieces have their own historical importance, such as George Kennan's 1947 "X" article, which outlined the policy of Soviet containment by the West. Anyone comfortable with the dense and occasionally arcane prose of this collection will probably have no need for the brief filler at the introduction to each section. Readers will have the impression that contributors to Foreign Affairs were indeed prophets: Karl Kautsky condemns the 1918 Versailles treaty for "bringing again to life the ideas of armed opposition and revenge"; Arnold Toynbee warns in 1939 that Britain and France have given Hitler a "free hand in Central and Western Europe"; Julian Benda criticizes U.S. isolationism for "peace at any price" only months before Pearl Harbor. The final section presents a number of unproved claims, e.g., technology will increasingly undermine the sovereignty of nations. Time will tell whether these theories are as immortal as those that precede them in this thought-provoking collection. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Hoge and Zakaria, respectively editor and managing editor of Foreign Affairs, have collected 43 articles to commemorate the journal's 75 years of publication.

Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of this volume is not its overview of a changing world during a turbulent century, but rather the subtle indications of a changing perception of that world. Many of the names and topics are expected: Kennan on containment of the Soviets; Kissinger on diplomacy; Morgenthau on foreign intervention; Brzezinski on the Cold War. But there are also surprises, especially during the earlier decades: renegade Marxist Kautsky on Germany after WW I; Italian philosopher Croce on liberty in the 1930s; Soviet theorist Bukharin on imperialism; and anthropologist Mead on what later came to be known as North-South relations. Together the selections constitute a short intellectual history of foreign-policy concerns. Despite the often gloomy realities, the early contributions are characterized by a belief that ideas matter and that a wide range of them are worth considering. The postWW II period is dominated by a narrower discourse of national interest within shared assumptions about a bipolar world. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the articles share a sense of discovery that the world is a much more complex place than could ever have been imagined during the Cold War. This evolution in the mindset dominating the pages of Foreign Affairs reflects both the journal's failure and its success. Its goal, announced in the lead article of the first issue, was to educate the broad public about foreign events and issues. It has remained, however, largely a forum for the intelligentsia.

The evidence that the experts have learned a lot over the years, however, suggests that the journal nevertheless deserves its reputation as the place for serious discussions of foreign policy. Well worth reading.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465001712
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 676
  • Sales rank: 1,488,517
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 1.49 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James F. Hoge Jr., has been editor of Foreign Affairs since 1993. A veteran journalist, he was previously editor of the New York Daily News, Chicago Sun Times, and has served as a Fellow at Harvard and Columbia University.

Fareed Zakaria is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs. He has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and is a contributing editor for Newsweek and an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Note
America's Past, America's Future: An Introduction 3
A Requisite for the Success of Popular Diplomacy, September 1922 11
Germany Since the War, December 1922 23
Nationalism and Internationalism, June 1923 40
Lenin, March 1924 50
Concerning Senator Borah, January 1926 56
The Great Depression, July 1932 69
Imperialism and Communism, July 1936 79
Of Liberty, October 1932 91
Dictatorship of the Mind, April 1934 97
Civilization on Trial, July 1935 104
A Turning Point in History, January 1939 113
Pacifism and Democracy, July 1941 126
The Critic Turns Actor, October 1945 134
The Challenge to Americans, October 1947 143
The Sources of Soviet Conduct, July 1947 155
Reflections on American Diplomacy, October 1956 170
The Delicate Balance of Terror, January 1959 187
The Silence in Russian Culture, October 1957 206
The Realities in Africa: European Profit or Negro Development? July 1943 227
The Underdeveloped and the Overdeveloped, October 1962 237
Wormwood and Gall: An Introspective Note on American Diplomacy, October 1960 248
To Intervene or Not To Intervene, April 1967 265
The Viet Nam Negotiations, January 1969 274
American Intellectuals and Foreign Policy, July 1967 291
A Viet Nam Reappraisal: The Personal History of One Man's View and How It Evolved, July 1969 305
Isolated America, October 1972 329
The Strategy of Terrorism, July 1975 336
The End of Pan-Arabism, Winter 1978/79 350
A Monetary System for the Future, Winter 1984 365
Human Rights and the American Tradition, America and the World 1978 382
Human Rights and Foreign Policy: A Proposal, Winter 1980/81 402
Misconceptions About Russia Are a Threat to America, Spring 1980 421
Can the Soviet Union Reform? Fall 1984 453
Communism in Russian History, Winter 1990/91 466
The Cold War and Its Aftermath, Fall 1992 482
Technology and Sovereignty, Winter 1988/89 503
Power Shift, January/February 1997 513
The Bent Twig: A Note on Nationalism, October 1972 530
The Clash of Civilizations? Summer 1993 548
The Last Ambassador: A Memoir of the Collapse of Yugoslavia, March/April 1995 571
Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession, March/April 1994 589
Culture Is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew, March/April 1994 604
Contributors 619
Photo Acknowledgments 626
Index 627
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