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Estrangement : America and the world /
edited by Sanford J. Ungar.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1985.
xii, 347 p.
More Details
added author
New York : Oxford University Press, 1985.
general note
"A Carnegie Endowment book."
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 307-316.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1985-11-08:
This thought-provoking collection of 12 essays by scholars, political journalists and former public officials examines our national character in the context of the past 40 years of our historyfrom the high confidence at the close of WW II through the paradoxical paranoia of the McCarthyist '50s, the turbulence of the Civil Rights era, and the psychic hammer-blows of the Vietnam tragedy and the Iranian hostage debacle. Writers of the calibre of Frances Fitzgerald, Robert J. Donovan, Donald McHenry, Lester Thurow, James Chace and Richard Ullman trace the American psyche in its political manifestations from preMonroe Doctrine times to the current ``estrangement''most alarmingly from our European ``natural allies''that marks our relations with the rest of the world. Often with eloquence, the writers probe elements of America's political immaturity: ignorance of other nations' cultures, Messianic moralism that often masks a thrust for power, an obsession with the U.S.S.R. that dangerously narrows our world-view. Ungar is a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. November 28
Appeared in Choice on 1986-03:
Broadly stated, the common theme of this collection of essays by journalists, academics, and professionals is that the US has pulled away from effective world leadership and increasingly acts in an unenlightened or unilateral manner. The quality of individual essays varies, the most sober and balanced ones being those written by Robert Donovan on Korea; Donald McHenry on US reactions to Third World revolutions; J. Bryan Herir on Vietnam; Lester Thurow on economics; and Philip Geyelin on disengagement and isolation throughout US history. Unfortunately, the book's flaws outweigh its virtues. The work lacks a clear, precise focus; there appears to be no common definition of estrangement among contributors. Thus, the essays become just a group of poorly connected writings critical of how America views or relates to other nations. Moreover, the criticism is not particularly new or insightful, and few practical suggestions for change are given. Finally, no one addresses whether a partial disengagement from a good part of a world filled with corruption and violence might not be desirable. Footnotes but no bibliography; chronology of events. Most appropriate for college and university libraries with extensive collections on international relations and US foreign affairs.-J.M. Scolnick Jr., Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, November 1985
Choice, March 1986
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