From Publishers Weekly
In this history of and forecast for neoconservative thought, Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man), a neoconservative with close ties to the Bush administration, complicates the notion that many of the Bush administration's policies are based on neoconservative thought by tracing the roots of neoconservativism from the 1940s onward. Fukuyama finds fault with many aspects of Bush's foreign policies, notably the inadequate planning for post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq, the conflation of the threat of radical Islamism with Iraq and the administration's non-cooperation with international organizations like the United Nations during a deluge of anti-Americanism. Unlike many indictments of the Bush administration, Fukuyama's book considers conflicting neoconservative principles and offers a reconciliation of neoconservative thought with a wider worldview, making this a timely book that'll spur more than its share of discussion.
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Francis Fukuyama has often been more poised and clinical than his neoconservative contemporaries (including William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz). Perhaps this makes his backflip away from mainline neocon thought understandable, but it doesn't make it any more forgivable. Many reviewers censure the Johns Hopkins University professor for not providing a personal defense of his defection. All the political lather threatens to obscure the actual book, which contains a concise history of neoconservative thought and a thoughtful, if not totally new, proposal for more peaceful (or "soft power") means of nation building. That might give heart to liberals, but his colleagues feel he has abandoned the convictions of his 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man
, and committed the ultimate political sin: swapping horses at midterm. <BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.