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America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order [Hardcover]

Stefan Halper , Jonathan Clarke
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 21, 2004 0521838347 978-0521838344 1
Used wisely, America's immense military power can preserve freedom but used unwisely, it can fracture global stability. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke argue, that as long as neo-conservative radicals dominate the nation's national security process, fracture is more likely. Assuming Americans will see increasing threats in the future, this book is important because it identifies the factions and agendas involved. It advocates an alternative approach based on a return to the mainstream principles that have successfully guided American diplomacy for half a century. years.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"[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

"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

"[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

"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

"[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

"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

HB ISBN (2004) 0-521-83834-7

"...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

"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

Book Description

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.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (June 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521838347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521838344
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,308,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this. Please. July 22, 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book singlehandedly restored my confidence in the potential for reasoned political debate in our society, and by extentension the future of our republic.

In a country where the likes of Sean Hannity scream in your right ear, and the likes of Michael Moore scream in your left, it becomes difficult for a reasonable, neutral citizen to make sense of what's going on in these our troubled times. In our frighteningly polarized society, the truth is easily drowned out by the din of the polemicists.

Enter Halper and Clarke. These two self-proclaimed conservatives calmly and clinically dissect a perversion of their school known as neo-conservatism. Tracing their development from roots in Cold War liberalism to their apex in the Bush administration, Halper and Clarke's sober and authoratative analysis warns us of the dangers of neo-conservatives' proclivities to unilateralism, closed-minded self-righteousness, and brute military force. As a result, the American government has lost credibility both domestically and internationally, forfeited its moral high ground, and fanned--rather than extinguished--the raging fires of anti-Americanism and terrorism.

I cannot stress enough the impartiality of this book. While they completely disagree with neo-conservatives, they do not launch into endless ad hominem assaults, throw out red herrings, or get red in the face. Quite the contrary, Halper and Clarke think that neo-conservatives genuinely believe that their policies are best for America. I suppose, in a sense, that this is damning them with faint praise. In the end, their analysis is rationally argued and compelling.

This is an exceptionally important book for our times.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for understanding neo-conservativism August 5, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although George W. Bush has gotten credit for the new face of American foreign policy his is merely a reflection of an intellectual movement that's been around for decades, solidified in the early 90's and really took hold after September 11th. The ideology is known as neo-conservativism and its adherents litter the White House and Pentagon. They are marked by an intense hatred of international agreements and organizations, diplomacy and the State Department. The neo-cons preach a black and white, good and evil (with us or against us) worldview and frame their arguments in moralistic terms. To them military force is the catch all answer for international problems with some neo-cons going so far as to advocate continual war. Americans forget or perhaps don't realize that Iraq was intended to be just the first in a string of wars that included Syria, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern and African counties.

Rather than an attack from the left `America Alone' is a measured criticism of neo-conservativism from the middle right. The authors point to an intellectual wattage drain in the second generation neo-conservatives. Whereas the first generation went through an evolution in thinking and prided themselves on intellectual experimentation the second generation seems to have been, as the author put it, born middle aged. Experimentation gave way to inflexibility to the point where neo-conservatives found themselves incapable of adapting to a new and increasingly open Soviet Union emerged. The new generation has by and large abandoned academia and moved straight into politics and policy making but operate like someone working from within a gated community.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of current US foreign policy September 16, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Stefan Halper, a White House and State Department official during the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, and Jonathan Clarke, a Counselor in the British Diplomatic Service, have written a scathing denunciation of current US foreign policy.

They show how Bush illegitimately extended the USA's war from counter-attacking Al Qa'ida to attacking terrorists in general, then to attacking `those who harbour them', meaning a state like Afghanistan, and then to attacking states that don't harbour them, like Iraq. The US ruling class hijacked the war on terrorism and aimed it at `universal dominion'. The authors describe this as `a highly imprudent trajectory of missionary imperialism and international confrontation'. They ask whether the US's policy "distracts the United States from the pursuit of terrorism and whether it may indeed aggravate the threat" and conclude that it does.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox News helped Bush: its watchers were three times more likely to believe the government's three big lies - that Al Qa'ida and Iraq were linked, that WMD had been found, and that the world approved of the US attack. These misperceptions `arose as the direct result of deliberate government action'; administration speeches showed `a pattern of deceit'.

Now the US government is bogged down in the quagmire of Iraq, dragging British troops down with it. It said that just 75,000 troops could occupy Iraq, and only `several thousand after a year or two'. It told Congress that Iraq's oil, not the US taxpayer, would pay for the occupation.

However, the US army is not geared to occupying a country, still less to nation-building; it is designed to carry out the old imperial practice of `Butcher and bolt'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good refresher on a destructive period
As disastrous as it was at the time, the hijacking of U.S. foreign
policy by neo-conservatives during the early years of the George W. Read more
Published on April 26, 2010 by Dave Kuhlman
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicles the political cult of neo-conservatism
Excellent book about the political cult of neo-conservatism. This book gets into the nitty-gritty from the start to current dogma. Read more
Published on August 19, 2008 by Daniel P. Titus
5.0 out of 5 stars A Justifiable Indictment of the Neo-cons.
Authors Halper and Clarke expose the criminals who have been driving US foreign policy during the disasterous G. Bush administration-the Neo-conservatives. Read more
Published on June 24, 2008 by Mark Watterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Why they hate us
This book describes how the moderate conservatives lost their bid to still govern effectively by allowing a certain scet of neo-conservatvies come in and with a sense of paranoi... Read more
Published on December 16, 2006 by William D. Tompkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Saving Reagan from the neo-Reaganites
The two authors here are ex-Reagan foreign policy officials. They argue that the neocon groups, that dominate the Bush administration and who claim to be "neo-Reaganites", are... Read more
Published on May 11, 2006 by Earth that Was
3.0 out of 5 stars Primer on treason
"America Alone", written by two traditional conservatives, is a good examination of the origins, ideology and influence of the neoconservative cabal which directs American foreign... Read more
Published on February 13, 2006 by J. Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Disection of the Neocon Foreign Policy and its Affect on the U.S.
This book by two veterans of conservative leaders, the Reagan and Thatcher governments, provide a thorough takedown of the Neo-conservative foreign policy as demonstrated by the... Read more
Published on December 8, 2005 by David W. Southworth
2.0 out of 5 stars Guilty as charged
On page 11 of this book, the authors provide a list of what they think are the unifying themes of neoconservatism. Read more
Published on November 20, 2005 by Juvenal
3.0 out of 5 stars who are the neocons?
By reading this book I finally understand who the neocons are. I have always wondered when everyone referred to them who they were. Read more
Published on August 4, 2005 by Ingeborg Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book on neo-conservatives, their hidden agenda, and how they...
This is a book that will appeal to conservatives, written by conservatives. It explains who the neoconservatives are, where they came from, and what they want. Read more
Published on June 25, 2005 by W. Murray
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