"...a splendidly illuminating book on the 'Bush Revolution' and the doctrine of unilateral intervention and pre-emptive war. Buttressed by extensive research, the authors demonstrate convincingly that Mr. Bush is not the puppet of the vice president or the Defense Department hawks. He has fundamental beliefs that have reversed America's six-decade commitment to internationalism." The New York Times
"Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, two alumni of the Clinton Administration's National Security Council, have given us a very useful -- and strikingly even-handed -- synopsis of President Bush's foreign policies.... America Unbound is a good book, well worth reading." Geoffrey Riklin, Intellectualconservative.com, 3/1/2004
"AMERICA UNBOUND is a thorough and learned account of how Bush has handled international relations....It is written in a brisk, engaging style that one does not automatically associate with Washington think tanks." Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune, Reason, 2/1/2004
"Listed among the top-selling American foreign policy and international affairs books with the #13 position." Foreign Affairs, 3/31/2004
"Exhaustively documented... this book by two Clinton administration National security Council staffers, is a readable, balanced, and concise work that explains the present administration's theory behind the practice. These two authors, who know as much about how foreign policy is translated into action as anyone, have accomplished an empirical analysis of the actions and statements of President Bush and his advisers, discovering and articulating the worldviews behind their decicions.... America Unbound is, ultimately, a criticism of President Bush's policies, his foreign policy unilateralism in particular.... The authors base their case... on the position that the complex foreign policy goals now confronting America cannot be solved with a 'go it alone' policy." David Marquet, U.S. Navy, Naval War College Review, 4/1/2004
"Of all the books that expound the New Look in U.S. foreign policy, America Unbound has been rightly acclaimed as the best. The research is thorough; analysis is incisive, and the approach fair to the point of being generous to Bush. That makes their criticism of Bush all the more telling. Their careful record of the policy debate alone serves to make the book a reliable work of reference." A.G. Noorani, Frontline, 12/3/2004
"Amidst a flood of literature on the Bush foreign policy, America Unbound stands out as the most articulate and compelling. Students of the Bush presidency and US foreign policy will be consulting this instant classic for decades to come." Andrew Preston, University of Victoria, International Journal
"...a useful overview and authoritative example of current political issues surrounding the Bush presidency in particular and trends in the U.S. foreign policy more generally....America Unbound offers a solid basis for understanding the consequences of the unleashing of America by the Bush presidency." Laura A. Stengrim, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 12/2/2005
"Daalder and Lindsay offer a provocative and original thesis and also a caution to those who have underestimated George W. Bush's decisive and historic impact on the course of American foreign policy." Robert Kagan, author OF PARADISE AND POWER: AMERICA AND EUROPE IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER
"That infamous day, September 11, revolutionized many things, not least American foreign policy. Widely recognized foreign policy experts Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay have provided the first critical but fair account of the historic shift in U.S. foreign policy brought on by the age of terrorism. Most importantly, this book carefully documents our shift away from post-Cold War norms of internationalism toward a new doctrine: 'you are either with us or against us.'" Gary Hart, U.S. Senator (Ret.)
… the commentary is judicious, the language sober, and, given that both Daalder and Lindsay served in the Clinton White House and that Daalder was recently an adviser to Howard Dean, the measured tone invests the book with that much more credibility.
However we may feel about the new order, Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay -- two veterans of the Clinton National Security Council now at the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations respectively -- pronounce what Bush has done as nothing less than a ''revolution.'' America Unbound is the most ambitious and important study in this batch, not least because the authors painstakingly develop the provocative thesis that the president is not the Dubya of cartoonists, a dim puppet of a cabal of old-guard hawks and neocons, but the master puppeteer himself. ''George W. Bush led his own revolution,'' they declare … The research is admirable, the arguments are well marshaled, and the absence of stridency adds considerable authority to the portrayal of Bush as a president whose ''worldview simply made no allowance for others' doubting the purity of American motives.''
Days before the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom this past March, a well-known intellectual close to the White House walked me through the necessity and promise of the coming invasion. Whatever rancor it caused in the short term, he said, would pale in comparison to the payoff that would follow. In the months and years to come, Iraqis who had suffered under Saddam Hussein's tyranny would write books and testify to the brutality of the regime, the bankruptcy of the Arab nationalism that stood idly by while they suffered, and the improvement of their lives. That testimony and the reality of an Iraqi state where basic human rights were respected would shatter the anti-Americanism that fills the Muslim Middle East and start a wave of change that would sweep over the region.
It was a breathtaking vision, and one that was difficult to dismiss out of hand. But from the vantage point of late 2003, it seems little better than a fantasy. To be sure, the war did eliminate a dangerous and evil regime. But the Bush administration greatly exaggerated the scale and imminence of the danger Saddam posed, while dramatically underestimating the cost and burden of the postwar occupation. The prewar links between Iraq and terrorism proved to be as minimal as skeptics had charged. And the Iraqis' feelings toward their liberators turned out to be more ambivalent than Washington had assumed, the regional ripple effects less extensive, and the diplomatic damage of the whole episode worse and longer lasting.