… Schlesinger has it right where he transcends passion in favor of prudent principle: "The United States, as it seeks to advance its national interests, will increasingly discover, I believe, that joint action may often be the best way to safeguard those interests." This is not the counsel of wimpishness but of realism. Indifference to consequences was driven by weakness in 1812, by fabulous strength in 2003. In both cases, America might have been better off staying at home rather than going it alone.
The Washington Post
A liberal public intellectual and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner (for The Age of Jackson and A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House), Schlesinger presents cogent essays that provide historical background to the Iraqi War. He condemns the Bush Doctrine, which makes preventive war a tool of American diplomacy, arguing that preventive wars (as opposed to preemptive wars, which are fought to stop an impending attack from a proven enemy) have no historical precedent in the United States. The Iraqi War is an unsuccessful preventive war-a war based on speculation rather than sound intelligence, claims Schlesinger. The author cautions against the return of the Imperial Presidency, a subject he wrote about during the excesses of the Nixon administration, and calls dissent a patriotic response to controversial government actions. He concludes with a warning about using history to determine precisely how events will unfold. Strongly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/04.]-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.