Publisher’s Weekly has just issued a positive review of my colleague and friend Michael Lind’s new book on American foreign policy strategy.
I commend the book to you in part because the nation is in need of a serious discussion of what vision of the future we collectively have — what the terms of American engagement in global affairs will be, and how prosperity, justness, and stability are going to be achieved in a world that has become increasingly convulsive, disordered and messy.
The American Way of Strategy will hit the stands around October 1st, but I will be inviting Michael Lind to do some talks and to do some guest-blogging on the themes of his important new book.
Here is the review from Publisher’s Weekly:
The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life
(October 2006, Oxford University Press, 208 pages)
Since the first Gulf War, American foreign policy has undergone a dangerous shift against its tradition of preserving “the American way of life” — the civil liberties assured by a system of democratic republican liberalism — argues author and journalist Lind. The strategy has changed in style over time, from the “isolationism of the first hundred years to 20th-century global alliances and “temporary alliance hegemony” against mounting empires.
But keeping security costs down while “promoting a less dangerous international environment” has largely permitted the public to avoid trading liberty for security in moments of crisis, he argues. By contrast, the emergence of a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus around permanent U.S. global dominance (championed by neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney) is a perilous anomaly, says Lind (The Radical Center).
His lucid if sometimes reductive focus on international strategy and power politics as a primary engine of history can obscure as much as it clarifies. But Lind’s advocacy of a “concert of power” or shared primacy among several nations gains a persuasive momentum, exposing the folly of the current imperial strategy while forcefully examining the neglected role of foreign policy in the shaping of American politics and society. (Sept.)
Concerts of power will be something that American foreign policy thinkers and strategists will need to begin to mull over seriously as we sort out the phenomenal diminution of American power and prestige occurring today.
— Steve Clemons