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After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism) Hardcover – December 3, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
But what I can say is that many of his characterizations of America ring true. He calls the US the "arsonist-fireman" of the globe, stirring up trouble in little countries just so we (well, Bechtel and Halliburton really, but close enough) can then ride in on the white horse and fix everything that we broke. His description of our foreign policy since the end of the Cold War as "drunken-sailor diplomacy" (a kind of clumsy, non-unified staggering about the planet) is a refreshing antidote to the usual elite conspiracy theories of the American left.
But maybe most importantly, and probably what offends many of the reviewers here, is that Todd doesn't take America all that seriously. He certainly DOES acknowledge our military might (save the Army) and relative economic security at the moment, inegalitarian as it may be. But he feels that the general policy direction that American leaders have taken (both Democrats and Republicans) will render the United States increasingly superfluous. And I would have to agree. The end of the Cold War provided an opportunity to dismantle most of our military and turn our focus back inwards, towards self-sufficiency and ecological sustainability.Read more ›
As a book it is readable, even for a non-intellectual like myself. However there is the feeling that one is listening in on a conversation. The book is, in a sense, a reply. It is by reading the reviews on here that I have begun to appreciate what M. Todd might be replying to. The leadership role that was occupied by the US has been frittered away. Americans who think their lifestlye is unassailable and who do not understand why it might be questioned will understand this book after the gas is dearer and after their pensions start to fall.
This book is worth reading to understand that history is on the move even though the nightly news might want you to think otherwise. This book is about raising questions, not about preaching a gospel. Perhaps this is why some reviewers are made uncomfortable by it. Many of the questions raised have been continued to be raised, even in the mass media. It is a relevent book, and because the questions and attitudes will continue to be voiced by influential people around the world it is a worthwhile and relevant read.
There are clear implications for the war on terror. If Islamic fundamentalism will burn out in a generation or two, the logical policy response is Cold War style deterrence and containment until the Mideast reforms itself. Naturally Todd does not approve of Bush's strategy.
Todd argues there is an American Empire in the sense that the United States draws a kind of tribute from the world shown in our current account deficit. Because the United States is the center of the current world system, it draws in investors looking for a safe haven and thus allows us to live beyond our means.Read more ›
The fact that this book was a bestseller in France and Germany is reason enough for Americans to read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. This will piss off any American at first glance, but read on, think and consider! Todd makes sone startling points about the U.S. and it's future. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lab owner
An excellent book that makes a lot of very interesting and I think valid points about America's current state of affairs. Read morePublished 20 months ago by D. Fleming
I found Emmanuel Todd to be a very interesting thinker and his work, "After Empire," to be refreshing and engaging. Read morePublished on September 9, 2013 by Agam Bellum
The book is written back in 2002, but I have to give the author credit for his description. Read more
not finished reading-- author has an agenda to sell. He must have not live in the world I live were you have sell your skills-deliver your skills correctly- and then collect your... Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Delbert Lee Spiegel
Todd published the French version of this book in 2002. Nine years later most of what he described then has not only been confirmed by facts, but the pace of transformation (public... Read morePublished on February 4, 2011 by cyberprimate
Brilliant and unusually farsighted. The review calls this book "erratic". There is nothing erratic in this book for anyone able to keep more than two thoughts in their mind at the... Read morePublished on March 21, 2010 by spiral1
Todd offers valid analysis and provides sound arguments in this book. While one cannot deny that some thoughts expressed are clearly of an ideological nature, it pays to remember... Read morePublished on November 16, 2008 by Soeren H. Huba