Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski

by Charles Gati
     
 

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Zbigniew Brzezinski’s multifaceted career dealing with U.S. security and foreign policy has led him from the halls of academia to multiple terms in public service, including a stint as President Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. He is a renowned policy analyst and author who frequently appears as a commentator on popular talk shows,

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Overview

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s multifaceted career dealing with U.S. security and foreign policy has led him from the halls of academia to multiple terms in public service, including a stint as President Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. He is a renowned policy analyst and author who frequently appears as a commentator on popular talk shows, including MSNBC's Morning Joe and PBS's NewsHour. Brzezinski’s strategic vision continues to carry a great deal of gravitas. This analysis of Brzezinski’s statecraft will be of interest not only to the general public but also to students as well as policy makers in the United States and throughout the world.

To assess the ramifications of Brzezinski’s engagement in world politics and policy making, Charles Gati has enlisted many of the top foreign policy players of the past thirty years to reflect on and analyze the man and his work. A senior scholar in Eastern European and Russian studies, Gati observed firsthand much of the history and politics surrounding Brzezinski’s career. His vibrant introduction and concluding one-on-one interview with Brzezinski lucidly frame the book's critical assessment of this major statesman’s accomplishments.

Contributors

Justin Vaïsse, David C. Engerman, Mark Kramer, David Rothkopf, Warren I. Cohen and Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Robert A. Pastor, William B. Quandt, Robert Hunter, James Thomson, Patrick Vaughan, Marin Strmecki, James Mann, David Ignatius, Adam Garfinkle, Stephen F. Szabo, Francis Fukuyama, Charles Gati

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
10/01/2013
Zbigniew Brzezinski is best known for his service as President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser over 30 years ago. Yet he continues to be a force today, advising President Obama's administration and serving on various boards as well as being an Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Known for his fearlessness in interpersonal confrontation, "Zbig" has had a strong hand in foreign policy matters especially regarding China, Iran, and Russia, often going against the mind-set of those in his own Democratic party (e.g., Cyrus Vance, President Carter's secretary of state). The 17 contributing essayists here include Warren I. Cohen (history, emeritus, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore) and the late Nancy Bernkopf Tucker (formerly, Sch. of Foreign Svc., Georgetown Univ.), East Asia specialists who criticize Zbig for his disregard of human rights issues in China. On the other hand, contributors who are former National Security Council staffers tend simply to offer praise of their former boss. Editor Gati (senior fellow, Foreign Policy Inst.) ends the book with his own interview of his subject. VERDICT This set of new pieces will fill a gap in material on Brzezinski in serious political science collections.—Krista Bush, Shelton, CT
New Eastern Europe - Filip Mazurczak

A highly readable volume of reflections on the legendary Cole Warrior by academics, journalists and Brzezinski's colleagues that nonetheless avoids the dryness of a classical academic tract... A welcome addition to the field of political science, simultaneously being a portrait of a complex, intellectually rigorous, and self-confident Polish-American academic and national security advisor in the Carter administration, as well as a reflection upon American foreign policy in the post-war era.

International Affairs - Vladimir Tismaneanu

Captures his extraordinary insights into international politics as well as his commitment to a morally inspired political realism. It will be read with great satisfaction... The editor and the contributors ought to be commended for their superb accomplishment.

Russian Review - George A. MacLean

Part biography, personal reflection, history, and policy analysis, this expertly compiled book provides a fascinating insight into the private and public worlds of one of the foremost architects of American foreign policy in the twentieth century, and indeed today... This is no small achievement, as the book is easily one of the best retrospectives of a public figure in recent years... Gati's lengthy and detailed interview with Brzezinski (a recollection of sorts) permits the reader the direct insight of the man himself following the various accounts of the contributors. It's an exceptional feature in what otherwise would still have been a first-rate profile... The book is easy to return to, and hard to put down... Skillfully edited, relentlessly referenced, and well composed, this should be essential reading for any observer (academic or otherwise) of American politics and foreign policy.

Sehepunkte - Benedict von Bremen

Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski is a valuable contribution to the field of U.S. foreign policy history since 1945 because of Zbig the intellectual, the policy-maker, and the commentator... Brzezinski's role as a Cold War scholar and intellectual, the descriptions of how it was to work (and study) under him, and his elder statesmanship as delineated in Zbig add to the study of not only Zbig himself but U.S. foreign relations in general.

New York Journal of Books - Karl Wolff

Zbig is an informative and challenging introduction to Zbigniew Brzezinski... For armchair enthusiasts and those struggling to unravel the complicated issues of international affairs and foreign policy, Zbig is a good place to start.

Campaign for the American Reader - Ray Taras

This biography tells us a lot not just about Zbig but about America’s own checkered history in Brzezinski’s lifetime.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421409771
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
08/22/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
280
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Jakub Grygiel

An excellent—and never done before—study of Brzezinski and his intellectual and policy decisions over the course of more than 50 years of American foreign policy. It is well organized, well written, thought-provoking, and adds a lot of information.

Madeleine Albright

Charles Gati has done a service to scholars and to all who are interested in U.S. foreign policy. Zbig is both a long overdue tribute and a comprehensive, balanced, and much-needed study of Dr. Brzezinski's extraordinary career.

Robert B. Zoellick

Zbig Brzezinski's influence on American foreign policy—as a practitioner, adviser, writer, teacher—has been consistently pointed, with a sharp analytical edge, and directed to the heart of the matter. Whether or not one agrees with Zbig, he is always worth listening to. This excellent collection of original essays reflects his own rigorous but sometimes puckish spirit. It captures the range and zest of a man who has been one of the great contributors to U.S. foreign policy for almost half a century. Like the man, Zbig offers both history and insights for the future.

Jessica T. Mathews

There is no sharper, clearer, more strategic thinker alive today than Zbig Brzezinski. This fascinating book brings that label to life, adding color, depth, personality and values to his incisive mind. It is history, biography, and very nearly a how-to book on thinking strategically.

Robert J. McMahon

Potentially quite important. I especially like the division into sections that capture the different dimensions and phases of Brzezinski's career—from academic to policy maker to policy advocate—and concluding with a series of portraits of Brzezinski by those who worked with him.

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