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Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana Hardcover – September 5, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0415949804 ISBN-10: 0415949807 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415949807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415949804
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...a prolific author whose writings include two volumes in an acclaimed series on American liberal Christianity and a decade-old book on neoeonservative ideology, thoroughly rehearses the movement of the ideas and people operating the U.S. foreign policy machinery. In an astonishingly comprehensive discussion of the neoconservatives' rise to power, Dorrien identifies the major players who devised the grand strategy of unipolarism, which calls for America to assert itself as the preeminent global power in the post-Cold War world..." - The Christian Century

About the Author

Gary Dorrien is the Parfet Distinguished Professor at Kalamazoo College. An Episcopal priest, he is the author of eleven books and over one hundred articles that range across the fields of theology, philosophy, social theory, politics, ethics, and history. His recent two volumes, The Making of American Liberal Theology, have been lauded by numerous reviewers as the definitive study of American theological liberalism.

More About the Author

Gary Dorrien is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. He is the author of 16 books ranging across the fields of social theory, ethics, theology, philosophy, politics, and intellectual history.

These books include an acclaimed trilogy, The Making of American Liberal Theology, and a lecture collection titled Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice. His book, Social Ethics in the Making, won the Choice Award in 2009, and his book, Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology won the PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers for the best book in Theology and Religious Studies of 2012.

Dorrien speaks extensively to social justice organizations, religious communities, and academics, and he is currently writing a two-volume work on Du Bois, King, and the black Social Gospel tradition.

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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah N. P. Meyer on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Imperial Designs contains the best information on the history and rise to power of the present US government. As it is written by an impartial historian, it is thus much more valid than Mr. Mann's Rise of the Vulcans, as Mr. Mann is himself a member of the Project for the New American Century cabal.
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14 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on June 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Gary Dorrien has specialized in liberal theology. Now he addresses the issue of neoconservatism. He does not "argue that Bush is a puppet of the neocons and Cheney/Rumsfield." As the author says, the top Bush officials are not neocons. And Bush seems to have come up with ideas on terrorism and Iraq on his own. But Dorrien does criticize neocons for their dreams of Empire, their annoyance with the United Nations, and their hawkishness.

Is Dorrien right? Do neocons want the United States to be an Empire? What do neocons think of international law? More precisely, do neocons want the United States to be fair, or do they want us to throw our weight around to get our way?

I think the author makes some good and bad points on these issues. The problem is that we need to start with a couple of fundamentals. Political disputes, say between liberals and conservatives, involve agreement on some goals and disagreement on the means to achieve them or the nature of successfully meeting them. That is, most of us want American society to be just, fair, and prosperous. That could be a mutual goal. We could have totally different political ideas about what that goal might mean. Still, we would be speaking the same language, even though we disagreed. Those who wanted American society to be damaged or destroyed would not be able to truly agree or disagree with any of the rest of us.

Now where do I think this places those with some specific political views, such as the neocons? Well, I think some neocons might indeed want the United States to be unfairly biased in helping Americans rather than others. But they surely would not want to put it that way in a debate!
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