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The Paradox of American Power
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Table of Contents

Preface 1: The American Colossus 2: The Information Revolution 3: Globalization 4: The Home Front 5: Redefining the National Interest Notes Index

Promotional Information

Named a Best Book of the Year for 2 002 by ^IThe Economist^R A ^IWashington Post^R Best Book of 2002

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.

Reviews

"Unilateralism, arrogance, and parochialism" the U.S. must abandon these traits in a post-Sept. 11 world, says Nye, former assistant secretary of defense and now dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He explains eloquently the principles he believes should govern American foreign policy in the decades ahead. His starting point is the preponderance of American power in today's world. Nye distinguishes between hard power (military and economic strength) and soft power (openness, prosperity and similar values that persuade and attract rather than coerce others). Nye argues that a dominant state needs both kinds of power, and that the current information revolution and the related phenomenon of globalization call for the exercise of soft more than hard power. It is, Nye believes, dangerous for the U.S. systematically to opt out of treaties and conventions endorsed by the great majority of nations. The U.S. should participate in world debate on transnational issues such as global warming and nuclear defense, not simply declare American interests paramount to the exclusion of all other views. Nye quotes a summarizing insight from a French critic: "nothing in the world can be done without the United States, [A]nd... there is very little the United States can achieve alone." As the author points out, in the aftermath of September 11, the policy issues this book addresses are magnified rather than diminished in importance. This reasoned and timely essay on the uses of power makes a valuable contribution to American public discourse. (Mar.) Forecast: Blurbs by Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger highlight that this should be required reading for foreign policy wonks. Oxford is backing this with a $50,000 marketing budget and is counting on major media attention. Still, whether this finds a wider audience may depend on whether Americans' interest in the world at large survives six months after September 11. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"This elegantly constructed essay is about why an unrivalled military and economic power still needs allies or partners, and why, as world leader, America should rely also on the soft, persuasive kind of power: the appeal of its values and culture."--The Economist "This reasoned and timely essay on the uses of power makes a valuable contribution to American public discourse."--Publishers Weekly "Admirably compact...illuminating."--Christian Science Monitor "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 "This elegantly constructed essay is about why an unrivalled military and economic power still needs allies or partners, and why, as world leader, America should rely also on the soft, persuasive kind of power: the appeal of its values and culture."--The Economist "This reasoned and timely essay on the uses of power makes a valuable contribution to American public discourse."--Publishers Weekly "Admirably compact...illuminating."--Christian Science Monitor "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 "Before the book was finished the events of Sept. 11 came along and underscored his thesis.... If the United States is bound to lead, it is also bound to cooperate.... Nye argues that the interests of the international community are not illusory, that they are part and parcel of our national interests, which cannot be achieved without help from other nations.... There is no going it alone in a globalized world."--H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe "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, United States Ambassador to the United Nations "Could not be more timely.... Nye's objection to unilateralism, or realism in the sense used here, is not that they are conceptually insecure; his point is that they just don't work."--New York Review of Books

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