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The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Aloneby Joseph S. Nye Jr.
Synopses & Reviews
What role should America play in the world? What key challenges face us in the century to come, and how should we define our national interests? These questions have been given electrifying new significance in the wake of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
Not since Rome has any nation had so much economic, cultural, and military power, but that power is still not enough to solve global problems like terrorism, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction without involving other nations. In The Paradox of American Power, Joseph S. Nye, Jr. focuses on the rise of these and other new challenges and explains clearly why America must adopt a more cooperative engagement with the rest of the world.
The threat of terrorism, Nye argues, is merely the most alarming example of why we must engage in constructive relations with other nations weak and strong. Now more than ever, as technology spreads and non-governmental organizations ranging from transnational corporations to terrorists increase their power, American leadership must reorient itself toward the global community. Further, for many key issues — from international financial stability to drug smuggling and global climate change to terrorism — military power alone cannot ensure success and at times may undermine rather than enhance our objectives. Nye argues convincingly that in the coming century the U.S. will rely less on our military might and more on the power that derives from the appeal of our culture, values and institutions, what he calls our "soft power." But this soft power cannot flourish in a climate in which the U.S. is viewed as selfish and motivated only by self-interest.
The Paradox of American Power contains the essential roadmap for maintaining America's power and reducing its vulnerability in the years to come. Sure to be controversial, it's a must read for anyone wishing to understand the complicated world in which we suddenly find ourselves.
"Joseph Nye — consistently one of the wiser heads around — has produced, yet again, a lucid, forceful critique of American foreign policy and a sensible, far-sighted prescription for making American power more palatable and more effective around the world. In the wake of September 11, The Paradox of American Power could hardly be more timely. It reflects Nye's multiple experiences in government as well as his perspective as a scholar and thinker." Strobe Talbott, Yale University
"Joe Nye is one of the most astute observers of the changing nature of international politics. His new book provides an excellent framework for viewing U.S. role in the 21st century and especially after the events of September 11." Madeleine Albright
"Most interesting is Nye's analysis of the 'information revolution' and 'globalization,' both of which, he argues, favor a continuing American ascendancy. Among his more intriguing ideas is the contention that globalization does not equal homogenization....Fluid and engaging." Kirkus Reviews
"In lucid and concise prose, Joe Nye sums up the ambiguities and complexities of American power. He provides a valuable context for understanding how to maximize our strength and minimize our vulnerabilities in the post-September 11th world." Richard Holbrooke
America must use its unprecedented power in co-operation with the world's other liberal democracies. On issues including genocide, the environment, terrorism, and others, the US can no longer afford to 'go it alone'. This title considers these issues and more.
Not since the Roman Empire has any nation had as much economic, cultural, and military power as the United States does today. Yet, as has become all too evident through the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the impending threat of the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, that power is not enough to solve global problems--like terrorism, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction--without involving other nations. Here Joseph S. Nye, Jr. focuses on the rise of these and other new challenges and explains clearly why America must adopt a more cooperative engagement with the rest of the world.
About the Author
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, he is the author several books, including Governance in a Globalizing World and Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power.
Table of Contents
1. The American Colossus
2. The Information Revolution
4. The Home Front
5. Redefining the National Interest
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