US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America's place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America's deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We're becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.
In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth--Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them--acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.
Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers--including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson--War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice--but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.
Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory it's a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it's an empire in denial--a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within--and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.
It is an era that redefined history. As the 1790s began, a fragile America teetered on the brink of oblivion, Russia towered as a vast imperial power, and France plunged into revolution. But in contrast to the way conventional histories tell it, none of these remarkable events occurred in isolation.
Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian Jay Winik masterfully illuminates how their fates combined in one extraordinary moment to change the course of civilization. A sweeping, magisterial drama featuring the richest cast of characters ever to walk upon the world stage, including Washington, Jefferson, Louis XVI, Robespierre, and Catherine the Great, The Great Upheaval is a gripping, epic portrait of this tumultuous decade that will forever transform the way we see America's beginnings and our world
Reading Chomsky today is sobering and instructive . . . He is a global phenomenon . . . perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet. -The New York Times Book ReviewAn immediate national bestseller, Hegemony or Survival demonstrates how, for more than half a century the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing-as in the Cuban missile crisis-to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this perilous moment and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species. With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky tracks the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of full spectrum dominance and vividly lays out how the most recent manifestations of the politics of global control-from unilateralism to the dismantling of international agreements to state terrorism-cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our existence. Lucidly written, thoroughly documented, and featuring a new afterword by the author, Hegemony or Survival is a definitive statement from one of today's most influential thinkers.
Ian Bremmer argues that Washington's directionless foreign policy has become prohibitively expensive and increasingly dangerous. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have stumbled from crisis to crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine without a clear strategy. Ordinary Americans too often base their foreign policy choices on allegiance or opposition to the party in power. We can no longer afford this complacency, especially now that both parties are deeply divided about America's role in the world. The next presidential election could easily pit an interventionist Democrat against an isolationist Republican--or the exact opposite. As 2016 rapidly approaches, Bremmer urges every American to think more deeply about what sort of country America should be and how it should use its superpower status. He explores three options: Independent America asserts that it's time for America to declare independence from the responsibility to solve other people's problems. Instead, Americans should lead by example--in part, by investing in the country's vast untapped potential. Moneyball America acknowledges that Washington can't meet every international challenge. With a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. strengths and limitations, we must look beyond empty arguments over exceptionalism and American values. The priorities must be to focus on opportunities and to defend U.S. interests where they're threatened. Indispensable America argues that only America can defend the values on which global stability increasingly depends. In today's interdependent, hyperconnected world, a turn inward would undermine America's own security and prosperity. We will never live in a stable world while others are denied their most basic freedoms--from China to Russia to the Middle East and beyond. There are sound arguments for and against each of these choices, but we must choose. Washington can no longer improvise a foreign policy without a lasting commitment to a coherent strategy. As Bremmer notes, "When I began writing this book, I didn't know which of these three choices I would favor. It's easy to be swayed by pundits and politicians with a story to sell or an ax to grind. My attempt to make the most honest and forceful case I could make for each of these three arguments helped me understand what I believe and why I believe it. I hope it will do the same for you. I don't ask you to agree with me. I ask only that you choose."
In his major bestseller, "Race Matters," philosopher Cornel West burst onto the national scene with his searing analysis of the scars of racism in American democracy. "Race Matters" has become a contemporary classic, still in print after ten years, having sold more than four hundred thousand copies. A mesmerizing speaker with a host of fervidly devoted fans, West gives as many as one hundred public lectures a year and appears regularly on radio and television. Praised by "The New York Times" for his "ferocious moral vision" and hailed by Newsweek as "an elegant prophet with attitude," he bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country's problems.
In "Democracy Matters," West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive. Even as we are shocked by Islamic fundamentalism, our own brand of fundamentalism, which West dubs Constantinian Christianity, has joined forces with imperialist corporate and political elites in an unholy alliance, and four decades after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., insidious racism still inflicts debilitating psychic pain on so many of our citizens.
But there is a deep democratic tradition in America of impassioned commitment to the fight against imperialist corruptions-the last great expression of which was the civil rights movement led by Dr. King-and West brings forth the powerful voices of that great democratizing tradition in a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. His impassioned and provocative argument for the revitalization of America's democracy will reshape the terms of the raging national debate about America's role in today's troubled world.
In his official response to the attacks of September 11, George W. Bush invoked the Crusades, tapping into a centuries-long history of fear and aggression. The West's longstanding perception of Islam as a threat has taken on new and more complex implications in the twenty-first century, as years of migration and resulting demographic shifts have brought the enemy within Western borders. Virulent opposition to the planned construction of an Islamic center near the 9/11 attack site in New York City reveals much about the intensity of public sentiments simmering just below the surface. As the United States and countries across Europe struggle with a resurgence of unexamined fear and antagonism, often directed against their own citizens, the imperative for better understanding could not be greater.
Crusade 2.0 examines the resurgence of anti-Islamic sentiment in the West and its global implications. John Feffer discusses the influence of three unfinished wars--the Crusades, the Cold War, and the current war on terror. He presents a timely, concise and provocative look at current events in the context of historical trends and goes beyond a clash of civilizations critique to offer concrete ways to defuse the ticking bomb of Islamophobia.
John Feffer's Crusade 2.0: The West's Resurgent War On Islam offers a brief but effective expos of a social cancer that continues to grow exponentially, in America and Europe, threatening the security and civil liberties of Muslims and the principles and values of Western democracies.--John L. Esposito
John Feffer's illuminating and important new work, Crusade 2.0, sheds light on the disturbing phenomenon of Islamophobia in America with a clear-eyed view of history, meticulous research, and persuasive arguments. This accessible and informative book shows how fear-mongering, when married to ignorance and selfish political agendas, not only threatens to marginalize entire communities of innocent people but also undermine the core values of pluralism, tolerance and fairness that define America.--Wajahat Ali
If you want to understand the particular madness of America's twenty-first century, you need to read John Feffer's account of how Washington launched crusade 2.0, including two invasions and occupations of Muslim lands and a Global War on Terror sporting aptly named Hellfire missiles aimed directly at the Muslim world. Add in the injection of fear of Islam directly into the American bloodstream and the rise of Islamophobia as domestic political red meat, and you have a truly American nightmare. Feffer is its Homer and this is our sad Odyssey.--Tom Engelhardt
John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. He is the author of several books, including North Korea, South Korea. His essays have been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere; he has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now and other international news media.
From the bestselling author of A People's History of the United States comes this selection of passionate, honest, and piercing essays looking at American political ideology.
Howard Zinn brings to Passionate Declarations the same astringent style and provocative point of view that led more than a million people to buy his book A People's History of the United States. He directs his critique here to what he calls American orthodoxies -- that set of beliefs guardians of our culture consider sacrosanct: justifications for war, cynicism about human nature and violence, pride in our economic system, certainty of our freedom of speech, romanticization of representative government, confidence in our system of justice. Those orthodoxies, he believes, have a chilling effect on our capacity to think independently and to become active citizens in the long struggle for peace and justice.