Catalogue


U.S. vs. them : how a half century of conservatism has undermined America's security /
J. Peter Scoblic.
imprint
New York : Viking, 2008.
description
xviii, 350 p.
ISBN
0670018821, 9780670018826
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Viking, 2008.
isbn
0670018821
9780670018826
contents note
Ideas. Worldview -- Candidates -- Movement -- President -- Consequences. Hibernation -- Apotheosis -- Catastrophe -- Future.
catalogue key
6404196
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-03-03:
This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush's failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced "regime change" as a means of fighting "evil" and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's "good vs. evil" morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
J. Peter Scoblic’s rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined America’s security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this book—but the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading U.S. Vs. Them.” —Kai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer In this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. Us Vs. Themis a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.” —Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomband author of Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Atomic Arms Race J. Peter Scoblic is one of the freshest voices on U.S. foreign policy, and he’s addressing a subject of existential importance. His distinctive take on the origins of George Bush’s arms control policies—and why they’ve produced catastrophic results—belongs on the reading list of anyone trying to understand why a zero-sum approach to the world won’t work in the twenty-first century.” —Robert Wright, author of Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny A penetrating and provocative critique of a worldview that has brought the United States a world of trouble.” —Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state, and author of The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation In U.S. Vs. Them, Peter Scoblic challenges the assumptions and policies of the Bush administration on nuclear strategy. The book describes the contrasting views of conservatives and liberals on arms control as they have evolved over the past several decades. To understand today’s news stories about North Korea and Iran, one must understand the policy battles and the history that Scoblic lays out in this book.” —James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bush’s War Cabinetand The China Fantasy J. Peter Scoblic’s new book superbly dispels nostalgia in favor of history. Since 1989, pernicious myths have abounded about how cranky, right-wing ideas on foreign policy and nuclear supremacy won the Cold War. In fact, those ideas came all too close to destroying the world—which makes their comeback in recent years extremely alarming. Scoblic’s unpolemical, deeply informed account offers urgent warnings about the present as well as a reasoned and persuasive rendering of the past.” —Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush's failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced regime change” as a means of fighting evil” and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's good vs. evil” morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future.” —Publisher’s Weekly(starred) J. Peter Scoblic’s rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined America’s security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this book—but the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading U.S. Vs. Them.” —Kai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer In this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. Us Vs. Themis a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.” —Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomband author of Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Atomic Arms Race J. Peter Scoblic is one of the freshest voices on U.S. foreign policy, and he’s addressing a subject of existential importance. His distinctive take on the origins of George Bush’s arms control policies—and why they’ve produced catastrophic results—belongs on the reading list of anyone trying to understand why a zero-sum approach to the world won’t work in the twenty-first century.” —Robert Wright, author of Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny A penetrating and provocative critique of a worldview that has brought the United States a world of trouble.” —Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state, and author of The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation In U.S. Vs. Them, Peter Scoblic challenges the assumptions and policies of the Bush administration on nuclear strategy. The book describes the contrasting views of conservatives and liberals on arms control as they have evolved over the past several decades. To understand today’s news stories about North Korea and Iran, one must understand the policy battles and the history that Scoblic lays out in this book.” —James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bush’s War Cabinetand The China Fantasy J. Peter Scoblic’s new book superbly dispels nostalgia in favor of history. Since 1989, pernicious myths have abounded about how cranky, right-wing ideas on foreign policy and
aThis cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush's failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced aregime changea as a means of fighting aevila and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's agood vs. evila morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future.a a"Publisheras Weekly" (starred) aJ. Peter Scoblicas rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined Americaas security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this bookabut the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading "U.S. Vs. Them,"a aKai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" aIn this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. "Us Vs. Them" is a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.a aRichard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and author of "Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Atomic Arms Race" aJ. Peter Scoblic is one of the freshest voices on U.S. foreign policy, and heas addressing a subject of existential importance. His distinctive take on the origins of George Bushas arms control policiesaand why theyave produced catastrophic resultsabelongs on the reading list of anyone trying to understand why a zero-sum approach to the world wonat work in the twenty-first century.a aRobert Wright, author of "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny" aA penetrating and provocative critique of a worldview that has brought the United States a world of trouble.a aStrobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state, and author of "The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation" aIn "U.S. Vs. Them," Peter Scoblic challenges the assumptions and policies of the Bush administration on nuclear strategy. The book describes the contrasting views of conservatives and liberals on arms control as they have evolved over the past several decades. To understand todayas news stories about NorthKorea and Iran, one must understand the policy battles and the history that Scoblic lays out in this book.a aJames Mann, author of "Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bushas War Cabinet" and "The China Fantasy" aJ. Peter Scoblicas new book superbly dispels nostalgia in favor of history. Since 1989, pernicious myths have abounded about how cranky, right-wing ideas on foreign policy and nuclear supremacy won the Cold War. In fact, those ideas came all too close to destroying the worldawhich makes their comeback in recent years extremely alarming. Scoblicas unpolem
Along with its analysis of Bush foreign policy, U.S. vs. Them” doubles as an incisive intellectual history of conservatism. He provides a useful corrective to the conservative myths about…foreign policy. Scoblic argues convincingly that conservative foreign policy in the years since has increasingly undermined American security, most strikingly in the area of nuclear proliferation, where the Bush administration’s bellicosity has spurred a new arms race among nonnuclear powers.” —New York Times Scoblic’s book offers a terrifying glimpse of the persistent tendency of one militant strand of conservatism to pursue conflict over peace, arms races over arms control, and ideology over pragmatism. His analytic history is particularly strong in revealing how, in a world of uncontrolled forces, conservatives sought to impose complete control, whether by pursuing technological fixes (like a nuclear missile shield) or treating US security as if it were something that could simply be willed.” —Samantha Powers, The New York Review "This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's good vs. evil” morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future." —STARRED Publishers Weekly This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush's failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced regime change” as a means of fighting evil” and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's good vs. evil” morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future.” —Publisher’s Weekly(starred) J. Peter Scoblic’s rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined America’s security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this book—but the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading U.S. Vs. Them.” —Kai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer In this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. Us Vs. Themis a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.” —Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Pr
aJ. Peter Scoblicas rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined Americaas security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this bookabut the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading "U.S. Vs. Them,"a aKai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" aIn this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. "Us Vs. Them" is a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.a aRichard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and author of "Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Atomic Arms Race" aJ. Peter Scoblic is one of the freshest voices on U.S. foreign policy, and heas addressing a subject of existential importance. His distinctive take on the origins of George Bushas arms control policiesaand why theyave produced catastrophic resultsabelongs on the reading list of anyone trying to understand why a zero-sum approach to the world wonat work in the twenty-first century.a aRobert Wright, author of "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny" aA penetrating and provocative critique of a worldview that has brought the United States a worldof trouble.a aStrobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state, and author of "The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation" aIn "U.S. Vs. Them," Peter Scoblic challenges the assumptions and policies of the Bush administration on nuclear strategy. The book describes the contrasting views of conservatives and liberals on arms control as they have evolved over the past several decades. To understand todayas news stories about North Korea and Iran, one must understand the policy battles and the history that Scoblic lays out in this book.a aJames Mann, author of "Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bushas War Cabinet" and "The China Fantasy" aJ. Peter Scoblicas new book superbly dispels nostalgia in favor of history. Since 1989, pernicious myths have abounded about how cranky, right-wing ideas on foreign policy and nuclear supremacy won the Cold War. In fact, those ideas came all too close to destroying the worldawhich makes their comeback in recent years extremely alarming. Scoblicas unpolemical, deeply informed account offers urgent warnings about the present as well as a reasoned and persuasive rendering of the past.a aSean Wilentz, author of "The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln"
“Along with its analysis of Bush foreign policy, “ U.S. vs. Them” doubles as an incisive intellectual history of conservatism. He provides a useful corrective to the conservative myths about&foreign policy. Scoblic argues convincingly that conservative foreign policy in the years since has increasingly undermined American security, most strikingly in the area of nuclear proliferation, where the Bush administration’s bellicosity has spurred a new arms race among nonnuclear powers.” — New York Times “Scoblic’s book offers a terrifying glimpse of the persistent tendency of one militant strand of conservatism to pursue conflict over peace, arms races over arms control, and ideology over pragmatism. His analytic history is particularly strong in revealing how, in a world of uncontrolled forces, conservatives sought to impose complete control, whether by pursuing technological fixes (like a nuclear missile shield) or treating US security as if it were something that could simply be willed.” —Samantha Powers, The New York Review "This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush''s “good vs. evil” morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America''s security and future." —STARRED Publishers Weekly “This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush''s failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced “regime change” as a means of fighting “evil” and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush''s “good vs. evil” morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America''s security and future.” —Publisher’s Weekly(starred) “J. Peter Scoblic’s rollicking indictment of how conservatives have undermined America’s security since the dawn of the nuclear era is intellectual history at its best. Scoblic shows us that a ship of fools is afloat, still navigating us all toward catastrophe. It is a shocking and even sordid tale told with calm logic and clear prose. Every informed citizen should pick up this book—but the next president should not occupy the Oval Office without first reading U.S. Vs. Them.” —Kai Bird, coauthor with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer “In this highly original study, part history, part current analysis, J. Peter Scoblic reveals the deep fear disguised as uncompromising idealism that has propelled the American conservative movement to promote its disastrous foreign policies. Us Vs. Themis a clear, succinct guidebook to the troubled first decade of the twenty-first century.” —Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomband author of Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Atomic Arms Race “J. Peter Scoblic is one of the freshest voices on U.S. foreign policy, and he’s addressing a subject of existential importance. His distinctive take on the origins of George Bush’s arms control policies—and why they’ve produced catastrophic results—belongs on the reading list of anyone trying to understand why a zero-sum approach to the world won’t work in the twenty-first century.” —Robert Wright, author of Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny “A penetrating and provocative critique of a worldview that has brought the United States a world of trouble.” —Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state, and author of The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation “In U.S. Vs. Them, Peter Scoblic challenges the assumptions and policies of the Bush administration on nuclear strategy. The book describes the contrasting views of conservatives and liberals on arms control as they have evolved over the past several decades. To understand today’s news stories about North Korea and Iran, one must understand the policy battles and the history that Scoblic lays out in this book.” —James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bush’s War Cabinetand The China Fantasy “J. Peter Scoblic’s new book superbly dispels nostalgia in favor of history. Since 1989, pernicious myths have abounded about how cranky, right-wing ideas on foreign policy and nuclear supremacy won the Cold War. In fact, those ideas came all too close to destroying the world—which makes their comeback in recent years extremely alarming. Scoblic’s unpolemical, deeply informed account offers urgent warnings about the present as well as a reasoned and persuasive rendering of the past.” —Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, March 2008
Booklist, April 2008
Washington Post, April 2008
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
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Summaries
Main Description
For nearly eight years, the American people have struggled to understand George W. Bush’s approach to the world. Many analysts, lacking a frame of reference, have simply dubbed it revolutionary. But in U.S. Vs. Them, J. Peter Scoblic provocatively argues that the best way to understand Bush’s foreign policy is to recognize that it is not radical, but rather the most recent expression of conservatism, an often misunderstood ideology whose national security instincts are rooted in America’s eighteenth-century view of itself and whose modern form has percolated for more than a half century, reaching full strength in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Scoblic persuasively shows that the foreign policy of the American Right has been stuck for decades on a binary setting that allows it to see the world only in terms of us versus them or good versus evil. During the Cold War, that approach fostered an unwillingness to negotiate with the Soviet Union, a distrust of apolitical intelligence, and an insistence on military dominance— even as the advent of nuclear weapons rendered the traditional notion of victory in war obsolete. Today, what conservatives often present as moral clarity is in fact nothing more than a continued failure to recognize that American security depends on our ability to think outside our borders—to stop seeing the United States in unavoidable opposition to the rest of the world. Tracing the history of Cold War conservatism from its development by William F. Buckley to its manifestation in Barry Goldwater through its implementation by Ronald Reagan and its culmination in the Bush administration, Scoblic weaves an intellectual history that reveals how the Right’s belligerence, intransigence, and disinclination for diplomacy not only brought us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but also failed to meet the grave post-9/11 challenges posed by Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and especially by the most serious danger that looms before us: that of nuclear terrorism. What’s more, although the Bush administration is nearing its end, conservatism is certainly not, as this year’s Republican presidential candidates clearly demonstrated. U.S. Vs. Themis a revealing and sometimes alarming analysis, but in diagnosing the origins of Bush’s foreign policy, it illuminates the path to renewed American leadership in the twenty-first century.
Main Description
How American foreign policy has been formed by conservative ideals that pose a catastrophic threat to our future In U.S. Versus Them, J. Peter Scoblic argues that the Bush administration’s belief in moral clarity”—its insistence that our foreign policy be based on a fight to the death between America and the forces of evil—has put us at grave risk. Although this worldview may have appealed to many voters in the 2004 election, it has in fact exacerbated the greatest threat to our country: nuclear terrorism. U.S. Versus Themreveals that the seeds of current foreign policy were planted fifty years ago, at the beginning of the Cold War, when conservatism was just beginning to take root, defining itself in opposition to Soviet communism. Scoblic shows how conservative ideology itself—from its development by William F. Buckley, Jr., through its implementation by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan to its culmination in the current administration—has endangered Americans and will continue to do so long after this president has left the Oval Office. As James Mann does in Rise of the Vulcans, Scoblic does more than simply describe or deride Bush’s foreign policy; he explains it, showing how and why the president has failed the greatest challenges to American security in the post-9/11 world—indeed, why he was destined to make those mistakes from the moment he took office. U.S. Versus Themis an intellectual history that also answers the question: How can we defend ourselves while restoring America’s place in the world?
Main Description
For nearly eight years, the American people have struggled to understand George W. Bush’s approach to the world. Many analysts, lacking a frame of reference, have simply dubbed it revolutionary. But in U.S. Vs. Them, J. Peter Scoblic provocatively argues that the best way to understand Bush’s foreign policy is to recognize that it is not radical, but rather the most recent expression of conservatism, an often misunderstood ideology whose national security instincts are rooted in America’s eighteenth-century view of itself and whose modern form has percolated for more than a half century, reaching full strength in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Scoblic persuasively shows that the foreign policy of the American Right has been stuck for decades on a binary setting that allows it to see the world only in terms of us versus them or good versus evil. During the Cold War, that approach fostered an unwillingness to negotiate with the Soviet Union, a distrust of apolitical intelligence, and an insistence on military dominance— even as the advent of nuclear weapons rendered the traditional notion of victory in war obsolete. Today, what conservatives often present as moral clarity is in fact nothing more than a continued failure to recognize that American security depends on our ability to think outside our borders—to stop seeing the United States in unavoidable opposition to the rest of the world. Tracing the history of Cold War conservatism from its development by William F. Buckley to its manifestation in Barry Goldwater through its implementation by Ronald Reagan and its culmination in the Bush administration, Scoblic weaves an intellectual history that reveals how the Right’s belligerence, intransigence, and disinclination for diplomacy not only brought us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but also failed to meet the grave post-9/11 challenges posed by Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and especially by the most serious danger that looms before us: that of nuclear terrorism. What’s more, although the Bush administration is nearing its end, conservatism is certainly not, as this year’s Republican presidential candidates clearly demonstrated. U.S. Vs. Themis a revealing and sometimes alarming analysis, but in diagnosing the origins of Bush’s foreign policy, it illuminates the path to renewed American leadership in the twenty-first century.
Long Description
For nearly eight years, the American people have struggled to understand George W. Bushas approach to the world. Many analysts, lacking a frame of reference, have simply dubbed it revolutionary. But in "U.S. Vs. Them," J. Peter Scoblic provocatively argues that the best way to understand Bushas foreign policy is to recognize that it is not radical, but rather the most recent expression of conservatism, an often misunderstood ideology whose national security instincts are rooted in Americaas eighteenth-century view of itself and whose modern form has percolated for more than a half century, reaching full strength in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Scoblic persuasively shows that the foreign policy of the American Right has been stuck for decades on a binary setting that allows it to see the world only in terms of us versus them or good versus evil. During the Cold War, that approach fostered an unwillingness to negotiate with the Soviet Union, a distrust of apolitical intelligence, and an insistence on military dominancea even as the advent of nuclear weapons rendered the traditional notion of victory in war obsolete. Today, what conservatives often present as moral clarity is in fact nothing more than a continued failure to recognize that American security depends on our ability to think outside our bordersato stop seeing the United States in unavoidable opposition to the rest of the world. Tracing the history of Cold War conservatism from its development by William F. Buckley to its manifestation in Barry Goldwater through its implementation by Ronald Reagan and its culmination in the Bush administration, Scoblic weaves an intellectual history that reveals howthe Rightas belligerence, intransigence, and disinclination for diplomacy not only brought us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but also failed to meet the grave post-9/11 challenges posed by Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and especially by the most serious danger that looms before us: that of nuclear terrorism. Whatas more, although the Bush administration is nearing its end, conservatism is certainly not, as this yearas Republican presidential candidates clearly demonstrated. "U.S. Vs. Them" is a revealing and sometimes alarming analysis, but in diagnosing the origins of Bushas foreign policy, it illuminates the path to renewed American leadership in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Ideasp. 1
Worldviewp. 3
Candidatesp. 37
Movementp. 72
Presidentp. 112
Consequencesp. 155
Hibernationp. 157
Apotheosisp. 192
Catastrophep. 232
Futurep. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 291
Notesp. 295
Indexp. 337
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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