Catalogue

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America alone [electronic resource] : the neo-conservatives and the global order /
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
description
xii, 369 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0521838347 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
isbn
0521838347 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8109826
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 341-349) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-03-01:
Halper and Clarke document in detail the origins, history, near disappearance, and recent ascension of the neoconservative "interest group" in dominating the decisions and discourse surrounding US foreign policy decision-making since the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In addition to discussing the thinking and ideology associated with the neoconservative movement, the book describes the more recent falsifications of history as well as their links to certain media outlets and evangelical Christian movements. A case study on Iraq demonstrates how in the post-9-11 context the neoconservatives leveraged their rendering of history and ties to media to succeed in achieving a long-standing objective: the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and the remaking of the Middle East. Authored by two self-avowed conservatives, this book offers a solid assessment of the consequences of the neoconservative agenda, especially the Iraq war, on US moral authority and its current isolation in the world. The concluding chapter offers a discussion of the inadequacies of the neoconservative approach and recommendations for a more viable US foreign policy to contend with today's global challenges. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. A. Turpen Henry L. Stimson Center
Reviews
Review Quotes
'... a comprehensive, cogently argued history of neoconservatism from the 1970s to the present, and a forceful expression of political advocacy.' Journal of American Studies
'America Alone is an important book ... it is a canary in a coalmine, informing the world that the Bush administration is now deemed unsound even by some who might be assumed to support it.' Financial Times Magazine
'America Alone is a sobering critique of U.S. foreign policy by two very serious conservatives. What makes their book so powerful is that their conclusion appears to be right.' Washington Times
"America Alone is a sobering critique of U.S. foreign policy by two very serious conservatives. What makes their book so powerful is that their conclusion appears to be right." Washington Times
'... America Alone pulls no punches. It argues forcefully, though in a temperate tone and with compelling documentation ... It deserves to be read by all who are puzzled by the reckless damage an arrogant coterie of ideologues has done to the greatest country in the world.' The Independent
'... America Alone pulls no punches. It argues forcefully, though in a temperate tone and with compelling documentation ... It deserves to be read by all who are puzzled by the reckless damage an arrogant coterie of ideologues has done to the greatest country in the world.' The Independent '... [the authors] have written a very fine book on this most important of topics.' Political Studies Review
.,."an engrossing tale about the roots and impact of neo-conservatives on American policy...must reading not only for what it says about how they did it, but also for documenting the paucity - in the U.S. government and beyond --of meaningful debate about the potential risks as well as benefits of mounting 'preventive' war in response to the events of September 11, 2001." Chester A. Crocker, Former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1981-89, and James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Georgetown University
'... An important and timely analysis of how a political movement succeeded in pushing the current administration to pursue the boldest American foreign policy program since Theodore Roosevelt while, at the same time, dismantling the internal review processes within the executive branch which, for over 50 years, had mitigated pressures to make reckless moves on the international stage. The jury is still out on whether or not the resulting American actions have been successes or failures. The outlook in early 2004, however, is not promising.' Frank R. Anderson, Chief, Near East and Southeast Asia Division, CIA, 1991-1995, and Chief of the Afghan Task Force, 1987-1989
'... An important and timely analysis of how a political movement succeeded in pushing the current administration to pursue the boldest American foreign policy program since Theodore Roosevelt while, at the same time, dismantling the internal review processes within the executive branch which, for over 50 years, had mitigated pressures to make reckless moves on the international stage. The jury is still out on whether or not the resulting American actions have been successes or failures. The outlook in early 2004, however, is not promising.' Frank R. Anderson, Chief, Near East and Southeast Asia Division, CIA, 1991'1995, and Chief of the Afghan Task Force, 1987'1989
'An in-depth survey of the intellectual development of neo-conservative thought over the last quarter century. Whether or not you agree with the book's conclusions, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the making of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century.' C. Boyden Gray, White House General Counsel to President George H. W. Bush, 19881992
'An in-depth survey of the intellectual development of neo-conservative thought over the last quarter century. Whether or not you agree with the book's conclusions, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the making of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century.' The Honorable C. Boyden Gray, White House General Counsel to President George H. W. Bush, 1988'1992
'An in-depth survey of the intellectual development of neo-conservative thought over the last quarter century. Whether or not you agree with the book's conclusions, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the making of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century.' The Honorable C. Boyden Gray, White House General Counsel to President George H. W. Bush, 1988-1992
'... by far the best study of the neo-con movement and its relevance to Bush's 'war on terror' in the flood of critical books that have poured forth during the second Iraq war.' Carribean Life
'... by far the best study of the neo-con movement and its relevance to Bush’s 'war on terror' in the flood of critical books that have poured forth during the second Iraq war.’Carribean Life
'Clarke and Halper have written an extremely useful book. Anyone seeking to understand the turn American foreign policy has taken in the past three years will need to come to terms with their arguments.' The American Conservative
'... fascinating book ...' Sunday Times
'... fascinating book ...' Sunday Times '... a comprehensive, cogently argued history of neoconservatism from the 1970s to the present, and a forceful expression of political advocacy.' Journal of American Studies
'... fascinating book ...'Sunday Times'... a comprehensive, cogently argued history of neoconservatism from the 1970s to the present, and a forceful expression of political advocacy.'Journal of American Studies
'... fascinating book ...’Sunday Times'... a comprehensive, cogently argued history of neoconservatism from the 1970s to the present, and a forceful expression of political advocacy.'Journal of American Studies
'Halper and Clarke are insiders who know the players and the sources. Their thoughtful, insightful work spans ideological and partisan differences, a rare phenomenon these days.' Washington Post
'Halper and Clarke certainly score clear hits against their targets ...'. Times Literary Supplement
"Halper and Clarke document in detail the origins, history, near disappearance, and recent ascension of the neoconservative 'interest group' in dominating the decisions and discourse surrounding US foreign policy decision-making since the 9-11 terrorist attacks." E.A. Turpen, Henry L. Stimson Center, CHOICE
"[Halper and Clarke's] thoughtful, insightful work spans ideological and partisan differences, a rare phenomenon in these times..the argument never has been put together so persuasively, so conclusively and so effectively." Washington Post
HB ISBN (2004) 0-521-83834-7
"Its thesis is that an unelected group of right-wing intellectuals have taken over U.S. foreign policy, to the detriment of the United States and the world as a whole." Providence Journal
'Most critics of the war on Iraq belong to liberal, internationalist, American Democrat or European traditions. This book is a damning indictment by mainstream U.S. Republicans with long experience in government. It traces the rise of the neo-conservatives, their influence through think-tanks and the media, their obsession with Israel and the Middle East and their conversion of the Pentagon and President George W. Bush to a Manichaean unilateralist foreign policy in which force is the preferred option. 'Know your enemy' is always good policy; 'know your friends' is also a good principle and there is much in this book that should give supporters of British and American policy in Iraq pause for thought.' Sir Roger Tomkys, British Ambassador to Bahrain (1981-84) and Syria (1984-86)
'Most critics of the war on Iraq belong to liberal, internationalist, American Democrat or European traditions. This book is a damning indictment by mainstream U.S. Republicans with long experience in government. It traces the rise of the neo-conservatives, their influence through think-tanks and the media, their obsession with Israel and the Middle East and their conversion of the Pentagon and President George W. Bush to a Manichaean unilateralist foreign policy in which force is the preferred option. 'Know your enemy' is always good policy; 'know your friends' is also a good principle and there is much in this book that should give supporters of British and American policy in Iraq pause for thought.' Sir Roger Tomkys, British Ambassador to Bahrain (1981'84) and Syria (1984'86)
"[The authors] have done the near-impossible...they offer convincing, powerful, new insights on a crucial and widely-discussed development in America's relations with the world. The book is fair-minded...fascinating...full of valuable guidance for the next phase in U.S. foreign policy. Its analysis is the more trenchant for coming from two bona fide conservatives." James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly
'... [The authors have] done us all a great service by writing this book ... The book is elegantly written with a passion that still preserves objectivity and is well supported by references.' Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Chatham House, International Affairs
'Their anger is coldly controlled, and far more effective. How much better the Right does outrage than the Left.' The Times 'This book provides us with probably the best overview to date of the background and roots of the Bush administration's ideology, with an emphasis on the famous (or infamous) neo-conservative movement ... their often scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of foreign policy comes across as original, well founded, and philosophically nuanced.' Journal of Peace Research 'This is a meticulous academic work and one that should be read by all those shifting uncomfortably as the Bush administration's foreign policy appears to blindly lead America into a brave new world of rising 'counter-Americanism' and vulnerability to a new era of transnational terrorist threats.' Cambridge: The Magazine of the Cambridge Society
'The pre-existing neo-conservative agenda to invade Iraq has inspired hundreds of new terrorists to attack our troops, and further endangered the homeland. America Alone is a splendid account of how we got into this pickle.' Thomas Twetten, Former Deputy Director of CIA for Operations
'This book dissects the American neo-conservatives and their ideology. It traces their intellectual and political connections; their rise to influence and then to power in Washington and passes judgement on their effects on US domestic politics and US foreign policy. You do not need to agree with the authors' every word to find this powerful critique of an important contemporary stream in American thinking enlightening and thought provoking.' Baroness Pauline Neville Jones, Former Political Director of the British Foreign Office
'This book dissects the American neo-conservatives and their ideology. It traces their intellectual and political connections; their rise to influence and then to power in Washington and passes judgement on their effects on US domestic politics and US foreign policy. You do not need to agree with the authors' every word to find this powerful critique of an important contemporary stream in American thinking enlightening and thought provoking.' Dame Pauline Neville Jones, Former Political Director of the British Foreign Office
"This book dissects the American neo-conservatives and their ideology...You do not need to agree with the authors' every word to find this powerful critique of an important contemporary stream in American thinking enlightening and thought provoking." Dame Pauline Neville Jones, Former Political Director of the British Foreign Office, 1993-96
This item was reviewed in:
Wall Street Journal, June 2004
Los Angeles Times, July 2004
Washington Post, August 2004
Washington Post, November 2004
Globe & Mail, January 2005
Choice, March 2005
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
Description for Bookstore
America Alone looks at the neo-conservative rise in U.S. influence and how this in conservative policy has been detrimental to the safety and stability of the United States. It then sets out an alternative approach emphasizing the traditional conservative principles of containing risk, consensus diplomacy and balance of power.
Description for Bookstore
America's immense military power is of concern to all. Used wisely, it can preserve freedom; used unwisely, it will fracture global stability. We argue that so long as neo-conservatives radicals dominate the nation's national security process, fracture is more likely. These means Americans will see increasing threats in the future. The book is important because it identifies, clearly and for the first time, who these people are and what their agenda is. Itsets out an alternative approach based on a return to the mainstream principles that have successfully guided American diplomacy for half a century.
Main Description
America Alone explores how George W. Bush’s election, and the fear and confusion of September 11, 2001, combined to allow a small group of radical intellectuals to seize the reins of U.S. national security policy. It shows how, at this 'inflection point’ in U.S. history an inexperienced president was persuaded to abandon his campaign pledges (and the successful consensus-driven, bi-partisan diplomacy that managed the lethal Soviet threat over the past half-century) and adopt a neo-conservative foreign policy emphasizing military confrontation and 'nation-building’. To date, the costs - in blood, money and credibility - have been great and the benefits few, with traditional conservatives deploring Bush’s approach. America Alone outlines the costs in terms of economic damage, distortion of priorities, rising anti-Americanism, and reduced security. Then it sets out an alternative approach emphasizing the traditional conservative principles of containing risk, consensus diplomacy and balance of power.
Main Description
America Alone explores how George W. Bush's election, and the fear and confusion of September 11, 2001, combined to allow a small group of radical intellectuals to seize the reins of U.S. national security policy. It shows how, at this 'inflection point' in U.S. history an inexperienced president was persuaded to abandon his campaign pledges (and the successful consensus-driven, bi-partisan diplomacy that managed the lethal Soviet threat over the past half-century) and adopt a neo-conservative foreign policy emphasizing military confrontation and 'nation-building'. To date, the costs - in blood, money and credibility - have been great and the benefits few, with traditional conservatives deploring Bush's approach. America Alone outlines the costs in terms of economic damage, distortion of priorities, rising anti-Americanism, and reduced security. Then it sets out an alternative approach emphasizing the traditional conservative principles of containing risk, consensus diplomacy and balance of power.
Table of Contents
The neo-conservatives: a new political interest group
Origins and early development
The nineties: from near-death to resurrection
The neo-conservative association
The false history
Outreach to the media and evangelicals
Iraq: the false pretenses
America: perception and counter perception
The neo-conservative 'World War IV' and its impact on American society
The balance sheet and looking ahead
Appendix
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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