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The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives
     

The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives

by Zbigniew Brzezinski
 

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In The Grand Chessboard, renowned geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski delivers a brutally honest and provocative vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to become the sole political arbiter in Eurasian lands and to prevent the emergence of any rival power threatening our material and

Overview


In The Grand Chessboard, renowned geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski delivers a brutally honest and provocative vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to become the sole political arbiter in Eurasian lands and to prevent the emergence of any rival power threatening our material and diplomatic interests. The Eurasian landmass, home to the greatest part of the globe's population, natural resources, and economic activity, is the “grand chessboard” on which America's supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. In this landmark work of public policy and political science, Brzezinski outlines a groundbreaking and powerful blueprint for America's vital interests in the modern world.

In a revised edition with a new epilogue, Brzezinski brings his seminal work up to date with commentary on the latest global developments, including the war in Ukraine, the re-emergence of Russia, and the rise of China.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Foreign Affairs
“A tour d'horizon lucidly rendered.”

American Spectator
“As sobering as it is timely.”

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Not everyone will agree that the U.S. must "perpetuate [its] own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer," but former National Security Adviser Brzezinski offers a meticulously detailed argument for how and why we should. He begins with a quick review of every empire in history and how they compare with America, which he concludes is the first truly global power. He then argues that "Eurasia is... the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played," and moves on to equally brief but comprehensive accounts of political developments there, ranging over entire histories and concluding with how America can best balance power in the region. While it seems overly ambitious to attempt to cover this much ground in a short work, Brzezinski succeeds. He is less convincing, however, when he strays from geopolitics and claims that America is internally threatened by being "fixated on mass entertainment... heavily dominated by hedonistic and socially escapist themes." Those who are uncomfortable with his initial premise will be relieved by his conclusion: America's ultimate destiny is to give up its primacy in exchange for "an enduring framework of global geopolitical cooperation." (Oct.)
Booknews
Presents Brzezinski's (former National Security Adviser to the President) views on geopolitical strategies to maintain the global power of the U.S. Focusing on four regions of the Eurasian continent (Western Europe, Russia, and Central and Eastern Asia) as the chessboard upon which America's supremacy will be tested, he argues that U.S. foreign policy (with a view towards the establishment of an expanded NATO and a Trans-Eurasian Security System) should rely on maneuver and manipulation to prevent the emergence of a hostile state or coalition of states that could seek to challenge the U.S.'s global stewardship. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
The former national security advisor is still a believer in geopolitics after all these years. Like most foreign-policy aficionados weaned on the Cold War, Brzezinski (Out of Control, 1993) has been forced by the disintegration of the Soviet Union to broaden his perspective—but not very far. He sees the US as the only global superpower, but inability to maintain its hegemony indefinitely means that "geostrategic skill" is essential. To what end is not specified beyond the vague shaping of "a truly cooperative global community" that is in "the fundamental interests of humankind," but in this genre, goals are commonly assumed rather than examined. In any case, Brzezinski casts Eurasia as the playing field upon which the world's fate is determined and analyzes the possibilities in Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans (interpreted broadly), and the Far East. Like a grandmaster in chess, he plots his strategy several moves in advance, envisioning a three-stage development. Geopolitical pluralism must first be promoted to defuse challenges to America, then compatible international partners must be developed to encourage cooperation under American leadership, and finally the actual sharing of international political responsibility can be considered. The twin poles of this strategy are a united Europe in the West and China in the East; the central regions are more problematic and, for Brzezinski, not as critical in constructing a stable balance of power. This updated version of East-West geopolitics is worth taking seriously but it is also an amazing example of how a perspective can be revised without actually being rethought.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465094356
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
12/06/2016
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
216,721
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are Saying About This

Paul Wolfowitz
"Zbigniew Brzezinski has established himself as one of the most penetrating analysts of international affairs and as one of the leading practitioners of the art of strategy. Here he combines both strengths to produce a provocative analysis of the shape of the world after the Cold War and of America's role in it. A `must read,' and a good one, too."
Lt. Gen. William E. Odom
"The Grand Chessboard will shock the timid, infuriate the unimaginative, and inspire the thoughtful reader. For those who believe America should lead but are unsure how, it offers a pragmatic and compelling vision. For those in charge of U.S. policy making, it is a required manual."
Samuel P. Huntington
"The Grand Chessboard is the book we have been waiting for: a clear-eyed, tough-minded, definitive exposition of America's strategic interests in the post-Cold War world. A masterful synthesis of historical, geographical, and political analysis, it is geostrategic thinking in the grand tradition of Bismarck."
Nathan Gardels
"In this incisive book--itself one of the most important documents to emerge in the wake of the Cold War's end--Zbigniew Brzezinski displays his legendary scope and intellectual acuity in giving purpose to American power. In this time of drift, Brzezinski remains America's paramount strategic mind."
Flora Lewis
"The Grand Chessboard is, at last, a lucid, brilliantly presented exposition of the necessary new framework for American foreign policy, tying together the objectives for the short, medium and long term which the country should now begin to implement. This fills a vital need."

Meet the Author


Zbigniew Brzezinski, formerly President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, is a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of New York Times bestseller Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower among many other books.

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