American Empire by Professor Andrew J. Bacevich
The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy

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In a challenging, provocative book, Andrew Bacevich reconsiders the assumptions and purposes governing the exercise of American global power. Examining the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton--as well as George W. Bush's first year in office--he demolishes the view that the United States has failed to devise a replacement for containment as a basis for foreign policy. He finds instead that successive post-Cold War administrations have adhered to a well-defined "strategy of openness." Motivated by the imperative of economic expansionism, that strategy aims to foster an open and integrated international order, thereby perpetuating the undisputed primacy of the world's sole remaining superpower. Moreover, openness is not a new strategy, but has been an abiding preoccupation of policymakers as far back as Woodrow Wilson.

Although based on expectations that eliminating barriers to the movement of trade, capital, and ideas nurtures not only affluence but also democracy, the aggressive pursuit of openness has met considerable resistance. To overcome that resistance, U.S. policymakers have with increasing frequency resorted to force, and military power has emerged as never before as the preferred instrument of American statecraft, resulting in the progressive militarization of U.S. foreign policy.

Neither indictment nor celebration, American Empire sees the drive for openness for what it is--a breathtakingly ambitious project aimed at erecting a global imperium. Large questions remain about that project's feasibility and about the human, financial, and moral costs that it will entail. By penetrating the illusions obscuring the reality of U.S. policy, this book marks an essential first step toward finding the answers.


About Professor Andrew J. Bacevich

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Andrew Bacevich was born in Normal Illinois. He was a graduate of West Point in 1969 and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He later held posts in Germany and the Persian Gulf up until his retirement from service in the early 1990's. He has a PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University and has taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998 and becoming Professor of International Relations. He has been a critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. He wrote several books including American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy and Washington Rules.
Published November 15, 2002 by Harvard University Press. 312 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Empire

WV Gazette

Money greases the process that will yield us a new president in 2008," Bacevich wrote in a "Washington Post" column two weeks later, in memory of his son.

Jan 01 2011 | Read Full Review of American Empire: The Realitie...

Mises Institute

Bacevich concludes with several suggestions for changes in American foreign policy, and among these is one that is especially excellent: For the United States, abolishing nuclear weapons ought to be an urgent national security priority… Nuclear weapons are unusable… Furthermore, the day is appr...

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The National Interest

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Mar 01 2003 | Read Full Review of American Empire: The Realitie...

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