To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth


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A deeply researched international history and "exemplary study" (New York Times Book Review) of how a divided world ended and our present world was fashioned, as the world drifts toward another great time of choosing.

Two of America's leading scholar-diplomats, Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice, have combed sources in several languages, interviewed leading figures, and drawn on their own firsthand experience to bring to life the choices that molded the contemporary world. Zeroing in on the key moments of decision, the might-have-beens, and the human beings working through them, they explore both what happened and what could have happened, to show how one world ended and another took form. Beginning in the late 1970s and carrying into the present, they focus on the momentous period between 1988 and 1992, when an entire world system changed, states broke apart, and societies were transformed. Such periods have always been accompanied by terrible wars — but not this time.

This is also a story of individuals coping with uncertainty. They voice their hopes and fears. They try out desperate improvisations and careful designs. These were leaders who grew up in a "postwar" world, who tried to fashion something better, more peaceful, more prosperous, than the damaged, divided world in which they had come of age. New problems are putting their choices, and the world they made, back on the operating table. It is time to recall not only why they made their choices, but also just how great nations can step up to great challenges.

Timed for the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, To Build a Better World is an authoritative depiction of contemporary statecraft. It lets readers in on the strategies and negotiations, nerve-racking risks, last-minute decisions, and deep deliberations behind the dramas that changed the face of Europe — and the world — forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538764671
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, both at the University of Virginia. His books and essays focus on critical episodes in American and world history. A former civil rights attorney and career diplomat, he has also served at all levels of American government. He was the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and, before that, directed the Carter-Ford commission on federal election reform. He has worked on international policy in each of the five administrations from Reagan through Obama.

Condoleezza Rice was the sixty-sixth US secretary of state and the first black woman to hold that office. Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as national security adviser. She is a professor at Stanford University and cofounder of RiceHadleyGates LLC. Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011), Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010), Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017), and Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Catalytic Choices 1

Two East German Success Stories

Ups and Downs

Operating Principles for a Different World

The Blindness of Hindsight

Slouching Toward a Systemic Crisis

What Comes Next?

Chapter 1 The Renewal of the Free World 29

The Two Prophets

The "Rights" Revolution

Reconstructing Global Finance (But Not Global Trade)

Lowering Barriers: The Momentum of Three Examples

The Renewal of Anticommunism

Chapter 2 Perestroika 68

The "Great Man"?

Reform Communism

To Change the USSR, Change the World

Gorbachev's "Turning Point" in 1988

What Would All This Mean for Eastern Europe?

When Is the Cold War Over?

Chapter 3 Hopes and Fears 106

"Dream Big Dreams"

The Vectors of Change

The Future of Eastern Europe

The Future of the Soviet Union

The Future of European Integration

Security in Europe

The Future of Germany

The Chinese Solution

American Decline? Soviet Decline?

Chapter 4 The Pivot: A New Germany in a Different Europe 158

The Revolutions Begin

The Soviet Agenda: Beyond Containment-and Beyond Communism?

Putting Words into Action

A New Germany?

A New Germany in a New Europe?

Hit the Accelerator

Time to Decide on German Unity

Should the Unified Germany Be in NATO?

The German Election

Chapter 5 The Designs for a New Europe 247

A New European Union

Lithuania, Biological Weapons: Walking a Tightrope

A Plan to Manage German Power

How to Help Gorbachev?

Free to Choose

A New Atlantic Alliance

A Final Settlement for Germany

First Tests for a Transformed NATO

Creating a Better League of Nations

Chapter 6 The Designs for a Commonwealth of Free Nations 305

Last Chances for the Soviet Economy

The Breakup of the Soviet Union

What About the Nuclear Weapons?

The Shock of the New: Building Different Economies and Societies

Russia's Brief Window of Opportunity

The integration of Eastern Europe

Global Designs and a New World Order

The Unipolar Mirage

Chapter 7 New Challenges Evolve 366

The Financial Crisis

The Migrant Crisis

Hungary and Poland Again

The United States of Europe That Never Was

America: The Politics of "Do You Hear Me Now?"

From the Peace Dividend to Perpetual War

The Break with Russia

Is America Done?

Epilogue: To Build a Better World 409

Principles, Partnership, and Practicality

Balancing the Local and the Global

The Emergence of Great Power Rivalry

Can a Confident America Rise Again?

Acknowledgments 431

Notes 433

Index 495

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