Catalogue


Arsenal of democracy : the politics of national security-- from World War II to the War on Terrorism /
Julian E. Zelizer.
imprint
New York : Basic Books, c2010.
description
v, 583 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0465015077 (alk. paper), 9780465015078 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Basic Books, c2010.
isbn
0465015077 (alk. paper)
9780465015078 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
7020066
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 513-562) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-10-12:
Despite its title, this insightful examination of the impact domestic politics has had on American foreign policy actually begins with the Spanish-American war. Zelizer (Taxing America) traces changing attitudes toward foreign engagement through WWI, including Wilson's failed advocacy for the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations, and arrives at the cold war era, his principle focus. His key themes are the competition between the Republican and Democratic parties for electoral advantage on issues related to international affairs and the expansion of executive authority that began with the Korean War in the Truman administration and continued intermittently through the George W. Bush era. The author emphasizes foreign policy throughout, devoting mere paragraphs to major domestic events like the Kennedy assassination and the contested presidential election of 2000. Zelizer's excellent analysis concludes with charting the rise and fall of conservative internationalism from Reagan to the election of Barack Obama, advancing a consistently thoughtful, complex and balanced argument about the decisive effect domestic politics has had on the evolution of the national security state. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2010-11-01:
Zelizer (Princeton) presents an ambitious yet flawed survey of political history from the Roosevelt to Obama presidencies. He contends that domestic politics and the political, social, and cultural attitudes of US citizens strongly influence the formation and conduct of national security strategy and foreign policy. Few will dispute this interpretation, well rooted in the canon of an earlier generation of diplomatic scholars, including Charles Beard, Thomas Bailey, Hans Morgenthau, Fred Harvey Harrington, and Wayne Cole. Well documented and vigorously argued, the book has much to offer the cautious reader, but it must be used with care. Zelizer's focus on political infighting causes him to oversimplify or ignore many key events and decisions, and his text becomes less objective (and hence less convincing) the nearer it approaches the present day. (For example, his conclusions on the state of US politics expressed in the last chapter are already confounded by current events.) Finally, though Zelizer is an engaging and provocative writer, his tendency to write more sympathetically of Democratic politicians, positions, and actions than Republican ones makes his book, regretfully, more a partisan polemic than an objective history. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students; faculty. R. P. Hallion Hallion Associates
Reviews
Review Quotes
Bruce J. Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University "Extensively researched and vigorously argued,Arsenal of Democracyuncovers the intimate and complex interactions between domestic politics and national security policy in the post-World War II period, exploding the old saw that politics stopped at the water's edge. Ranging over half a century, this ambitious book sets the standard for understanding the politics of national security policy in modern America." Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara "Arsenal of Democracyprovides a provocative, timely and compulsively readable account of the vexed relationship between foreign and domestic policy and the tangled politics of national security since World War II." Jeremi Suri, E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, University of Wisconsin "Many Americans imagine a past era of bipartisan cooperation in our country around critical issues of war and peace. Zelizer shows that such a golden age never existed in our nation's politics. Instead, Democrats and Republicans have used foreign policy debates since World War II to push their partisan agendas and their electoral interests. Zelizer does not criticize this process, but he reminds us that successful foreign policy always requires effective manipulation of interests, fears, and aspirations at home. Zelizer offers a compelling account of how foreign policy is really made. Every citizen interested in understanding our nation's policies would benefit from reading this well-written book."
Bruce J. Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University "Extensively researched and vigorously argued, Arsenal of Democracy uncovers the intimate and complex interactions between domestic politics and national security policy in the post-World War II period, exploding the old saw that politics stopped at the water's edge. Ranging over half a century, this ambitious book sets the standard for understanding the politics of national security policy in modern America." Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara " Arsenal of Democracy provides a provocative, timely and compulsively readable account of the vexed relationship between foreign and domestic policy and the tangled politics of national security since World War II." Jeremi Suri, E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, University of Wisconsin "Many Americans imagine a past era of bipartisan cooperation in our country around critical issues of war and peace. Zelizer shows that such a golden age never existed in our nation''s politics. Instead, Democrats and Republicans have used foreign policy debates since World War II to push their partisan agendas and their electoral interests. Zelizer does not criticize this process, but he reminds us that successful foreign policy always requires effective manipulation of interests, fears, and aspirations at home. Zelizer offers a compelling account of how foreign policy is really made. Every citizen interested in understanding our nation''s policies would benefit from reading this well-written book." Kirkus "A timely analysis of the forces that will collide as President Obama ponders the way forward in Afghanistan." Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and John Paul Jones "Julian Zelizer is a patient and clear-eyed guide through the thicket of American foreign policy. He combines a feel for the sweep of history with a grasp of significant detail to bring alive America''s often uncertain effort to lead the world." Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and Professor of History, Georgetown University "Julian Zelizer's comprehensive, unfailingly wise book should finally demolish the myth of bipartisanship in the making of America''s wars and diplomacy. Vigorously argued and brilliantly researched, Arsenal of Democracy is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand political conflict in the nation from FDR to Barack Obama." Frederik Logevall, Professor of History, Cornell University, and co-author of America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity " Arsenal of Democracy is a myth-shattering history of the American national security state since 1945. Zelizer sheds important new light on the fiercely debated issues of the postwar era, and amply supports his core argument: in the United States, foreign policy is always a political matter. A marvelously instructive work." Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland "Simultaneously a lucid synthesis and a work of commanding original research, Julian Zelizer''s sweeping tour de horizon on American foreign policy from the age of isolationism to the post-9/11 era demonstrates to a fare-thee-well that politics has never, ever stopped at the water''s edge. In making the argument, it is mature, fluent, and authoritative." Randall B. Woods, author of LBJ: Architect of American Ambition "Whether you are looking for a historical context in which to evaluate the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan or simply for a riveting, up-to-date history of U.S. national security policy, this is the book for you." Sean Wilentz, author of The Age of Reagan " Arsenal of Democracy is a magnificent book by one of the finest American historians to come along in some time. Julian Zelizer''s acuity about how American politics actually works, on many fronts, illuminates his sweeping narrative and reinterpretation of national security policy, from FDR through the age of Ronald Reagan. Exact in detail but grand in conception, it is a work of modern historical analysis at its best." Booklist "[A] detailed and even-handed account. Covering election campaigns, election winners' interpretation of the results, and votes on Capitol Hill, Zelizer makes the case to general-interest readers that American politics have never stopped at the water's edge." Foreign Affairs "In this eminently readable book, Zelizer has provided an admirably balanced account of the politics of U.S. foreign policy…. It gives structural realists much to chew on; Zelizer makes a powerful case that domestic political debates, rather than the international environment, have frequently shaped U.S. foreign policy on issues of great strategic importance…. [A] powerful and rewarding study of U.S. foreign policy in modern times." Wilson Quarterly "Attuned to the debates of the moment, political observers rarely step back to view the antecedents of current controversy.… Yet a wide lens is crucial when dealing with interconnected issues such as foreign policy. In Arsenal of Democracy , Julian E. Zelizer affords us an opportunity to scan that far horizon, surveying the history of the politics of national security from the late 19th century onward." The American Prospect "Zelizer's inspired choice to write a foreign-policy history primarily from the perspective of bare-knuckled politicking rather than high-minded disputes about America's role in the world casts many events in a new light." Austin American-Statesman "Zelizer offers a wealth of information on the history of U.S. foreign policy from 1940 through 2008, whether it's the Truman administration and the origins of the Cold War, President Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis, Nixon's and Kissinger's opening of U.S.-China relations, or the Carter administration's response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With these and the many other events of U.S. foreign policy history, Zelizer sheds new light on the messiness of national security policy." Claremont Review of Books "[ Arsenal of Democracy ] is a compelling and enlightening read. From the time of FDR into our own day, Zelizer provides vital context for understanding both the actions and the motives of American decision-makers." The Journal of American History "Julian E. Zelizer's comprehensive study of American national security since the rise of the United States as a global superpower greatly expands scholarly understanding of recurring challenges in defining and protecting U.S. interests. Clear organization, meticulous research, and engaging analysis make this text essential reading in American diplomatic history and international politics."
Bruce J. Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University “Extensively researched and vigorously argued, Arsenal of Democracy uncovers the intimate and complex interactions between domestic politics and national security policy in the post-World War II period, exploding the old saw that politics stopped at the water’s edge. Ranging over half a century, this ambitious book sets the standard for understanding the politics of national security policy in modern America.” Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara “ Arsenal of Democracy provides a provocative, timely and compulsively readable account of the vexed relationship between foreign and domestic policy and the tangled politics of national security since World War II.” Jeremi Suri, E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, University of Wisconsin "Many Americans imagine a past era of bipartisan cooperation in our country around critical issues of war and peace. Zelizer shows that such a golden age never existed in our nation''s politics. Instead, Democrats and Republicans have used foreign policy debates since World War II to push their partisan agendas and their electoral interests. Zelizer does not criticize this process, but he reminds us that successful foreign policy always requires effective manipulation of interests, fears, and aspirations at home. Zelizer offers a compelling account of how foreign policy is really made. Every citizen interested in understanding our nation''s policies would benefit from reading this well-written book." Kirkus “A timely analysis of the forces that will collide as President Obama ponders the way forward in Afghanistan.” Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and John Paul Jones “Julian Zelizer is a patient and clear-eyed guide through the thicket of American foreign policy. He combines a feel for the sweep of history with a grasp of significant detail to bring alive America''s often uncertain effort to lead the world.” Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and Professor of History, Georgetown University “Julian Zelizer’s comprehensive, unfailingly wise book should finally demolish the myth of bipartisanship in the making of America''s wars and diplomacy. Vigorously argued and brilliantly researched, Arsenal of Democracy is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand political conflict in the nation from FDR to Barack Obama.” Frederik Logevall, Professor of History, Cornell University, and co-author of America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity “ Arsenal of Democracy is a myth-shattering history of the American national security state since 1945. Zelizer sheds important new light on the fiercely debated issues of the postwar era, and amply supports his core argument: in the United States, foreign policy is always a political matter. A marvelously instructive work.” Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland "Simultaneously a lucid synthesis and a work of commanding original research, Julian Zelizer''s sweeping tour de horizon on American foreign policy from the age of isolationism to the post-9/11 era demonstrates to a fare-thee-well that politics has never, ever stopped at the water''s edge. In making the argument, it is mature, fluent, and authoritative." Randall B. Woods, author of LBJ: Architect of American Ambition "Whether you are looking for a historical context in which to evaluate the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan or simply for a riveting, up-to-date history of U.S. national security policy, this is the book for you." Sean Wilentz, author of The Age of Reagan “ Arsenal of Democracy is a magnificent book by one of the finest American historians to come along in some time. Julian Zelizer''s acuity about how American politics actually works, on many fronts, illuminates his sweeping narrative and reinterpretation of national security policy, from FDR through the age of Ronald Reagan. Exact in detail but grand in conception, it is a work of modern historical analysis at its best.” Booklist “[A] detailed and even-handed account. Covering election campaigns, election winners’ interpretation of the results, and votes on Capitol Hill, Zelizer makes the case to general-interest readers that American politics have never stopped at the water’s edge.” Foreign Affairs “In this eminently readable book, Zelizer has provided an admirably balanced account of the politics of U.S. foreign policy&. It gives structural realists much to chew on; Zelizer makes a powerful case that domestic political debates, rather than the international environment, have frequently shaped U.S. foreign policy on issues of great strategic importance&. [A] powerful and rewarding study of U.S. foreign policy in modern times.” Wilson Quarterly “Attuned to the debates of the moment, political observers rarely step back to view the antecedents of current controversy.& Yet a wide lens is crucial when dealing with interconnected issues such as foreign policy. In Arsenal of Democracy , Julian E. Zelizer affords us an opportunity to scan that far horizon, surveying the history of the politics of national security from the late 19th century onward.” The American Prospect “Zelizer’s inspired choice to write a foreign-policy history primarily from the perspective of bare-knuckled politicking rather than high-minded disputes about America’s role in the world casts many events in a new light.” Austin American-Statesman “Zelizer offers a wealth of information on the history of U.S. foreign policy from 1940 through 2008, whether it’s the Truman administration and the origins of the Cold War, President Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis, Nixon’s and Kissinger’s opening of U.S.-China relations, or the Carter administration’s response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With these and the many other events of U.S. foreign policy history, Zelizer sheds new light on the messiness of national security policy.” Claremont Review of Books “[ Arsenal of Democracy ] is a compelling and enlightening read. From the time of FDR into our own day, Zelizer provides vital context for understanding both the actions and the motives of American decision-makers.” The Journal of American History “Julian E. Zelizer’s comprehensive study of American national security since the rise of the United States as a global superpower greatly expands scholarly understanding of recurring challenges in defining and protecting U.S. interests. Clear organization, meticulous research, and engaging analysis make this text essential reading in American diplomatic history and international politics.”
The Washington Post "A food-friendly guide to pregnancy and beyond…The more than 150 recipes in the book are presented in categories that fit with contemporary lifestyles…It's a realistic approach at a time when more and more meals take place outside the home." Publishers Weekly "Delicately balancing optimum and unnecessary weight gain…simple yet flavorful dishes… an overwhelming amount of information." Washington Parent Magazine "It's the subtitle that makes Eating for Pregnancy: An Essential Guide to Nutrition with Recipes for the Whole Family so special. Not only does the book address mom's needs, but also those of those who cook and dine with her."
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, October 2009
Booklist, January 2010
Choice, November 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
It has long been a truism that prior to George W. Bush politics always stopped at the water's edgethat is, that partisanship had no place in national security questions. InArsenal of Democracy, historian Julian Zelizer shows this to be demonstrably false: partisan bickering has always tainted American foreign policy.Based on original archival findings,Arsenal of Democracyoffers new insights to nearly every major national security issue since the beginning of the cold war: from FDR's masterful management of World War II to the partisanship that scarred John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, from Ronald Reagan's fight against Communism to George W. Bush's controversial War on Terror.A definitive account of the complex interaction between domestic politics and foreign affairs over the last six decades,Arsenal of Democracyis essential reading for anyone interested in America's impact abroad.
Main Description
It has long been a truism that prior to George W. Bush, politics stopped at the water's edge-that is, that partisanship had no place in national security. In Arsenal of Democracy , historian Julian E. Zelizer shows this to be demonstrably false: partisan fighting has always shaped American foreign policy and the issue of national security has always been part of our domestic conflicts. Based on original archival findings, Arsenal of Democracy offers new insights into nearly every major national security issue since the beginning of the cold war: from FDR's masterful management of World War II to the partisanship that scarred John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, from Ronald Reagan's fight against Communism to George W. Bush's controversial War on Terror. A definitive account of the complex interaction between domestic politics and foreign affairs over the last six decades, Arsenal of Democracy is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of national security.
Main Description
It has long been a truism that prior to George W. Bush, politics stopped at the water's edge-that is, that partisanship had no place in national security. InArsenal of Democracy, historian Julian E. Zelizer shows this to be demonstrably false: partisan fighting has always shaped American foreign policy and the issue of national security has always been part of our domestic conflicts. Based on original archival findings,Arsenal of Democracyoffers new insights into nearly every major national security issue since the beginning of the cold war: from FDR's masterful management of World War II to the partisanship that scarred John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, from Ronald Reagan's fight against Communism to George W. Bush's controversial War on Terror. A definitive account of the complex interaction between domestic politics and foreign affairs over the last six decades,Arsenal of Democracyis essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of national security.
Main Description
It has long been a truism that prior to George W. Bush, politics stopped at the water’s edge-that is, that partisanship had no place in national security. In Arsenal of Democracy , historian Julian E. Zelizer shows this to be demonstrably false: partisan fighting has always shaped American foreign policy and the issue of national security has always been part of our domestic conflicts. Based on original archival findings, Arsenal of Democracy offers new insights into nearly every major national security issue since the beginning of the cold war: from FDR’s masterful management of World War II to the partisanship that scarred John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, from Ronald Reagan’s fight against Communism to George W. Bush’s controversial War on Terror. A definitive account of the complex interaction between domestic politics and foreign affairs over the last six decades, Arsenal of Democracy is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of national security.
Table of Contents
Four Questionsp. 1
Uneasy Warriorsp. 9
How the Democrats Won World War IIp. 39
Building the National Security Statep. 60
Making China Rightp. 81
High Noon at Mid-Centuryp. 97
Make Missiles, Not Budgetsp. 121
The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisitedp. 148
Running Scared into Vietnamp. 178
Ending the Draftp. 203
No Room for a Republican Centerp. 237
The Lost Democratic Opportunityp. 273
Rambo Meets the Deer Hunterp. 300
Counter-Attackp. 333
What Comes Next?p. 355
Fighting Conservatism on Capitol Hillp. 386
9/11p. 431
Mission Accomplished?p. 467
Politics at the Water's Edgep. 503
Acknowledgmentsp. 507
Archivesp. 509
Notesp. 511
Indexp. 561
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem