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Publishers WeeklyIn this concise book, Weber, a professor at Berkeley, and Jentleson, a professor at Duke, identify "five big ideas" that dominated international politics in the 20th century: peace is better than war; benign hegemony is better than a balance of power; capitalism is better than socialism; democracy is better than dictatorship; and western culture is superior to other cultures. The authors argue that for much of the world a repressive government that achieves economic progress (as is the case in Singapore, for instance) is preferable to a democratic government that fails to improve living standards; this shift, the authors argue, needs to be understood by the American people in order for the U.S. to successfully transition from lone superpower to savvy and influential player. Though their message is far from new, it's extremely well articulated. Yet finding an audience for this book may be a challenge; it's too simplistic for foreign policy wonks and too sophisticated to find a home on Main Street.
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