Customer Reviews: A Republic, Not an Empire
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on March 3, 2000
Overall, this is an outstanding book; well backed up by the author's research. Buchanan takes a second look at our nation's history and comes to some strong, controversial conclusions. While I do not agree with some of his arguments,the book is not an apology for Hitler, as many in the media and elsewhere have said. Apparently, none of them bothered to read the book before forming their conclusions. Buchanan's thesis, that America would be better off avoiding foreign entanglements ,as George Washington warned two centuries ago, seems fairly incontrovertible to me. I disagree with his assessment of the Mexican War and a few other points, but overall this book is pretty much on the mark. Soft on Hitler- absolutely not. Soft on James Polk and William McKinley-to a certain degree,yes. Readers who approach this book with an open mind will stand to learn a great deal. Those who hate Buchanan are not going to give it a fair review, so I encourage every reader to ignore the mindless reviews that falsely accuse Buchanan of "supporting the wrong side of the war,"etc..., and judge the book on its merits.
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on May 10, 2000
John McCain never read this book. That is clear to anyone who does read it. Mr. Buchannan recaps the history of US foreign relations; his analysis of the events leading up our entry into World War II is scholarly, fair, and plausible. He has not a good word fot Hitler; his thesis is that Hitler was no threat to us, and that we do not need to bail out the rest of the world whenever evil rears its' ugly head. (It is arguable that what replaced Hitler in eastern Europe was worse than Nazism, based on the body count on Communism's ledger in the years since Lenin.) Most Americans are probably non-interventionists at heart; the sharp decline in armed forces recruiting may be traceable to a sense that the missions in the post-Cold War era have no clear connection to defending America. (As a veteran, I was/am willing to risk battle for my country, but have no inclination to kill Serbs on behalf of Albanians, or vice versa.) One may disagree with him (as I do on trade), but this is a reasonable book, and nothing written in it makes him a friend of facism. Give Mr. Buchannan his due, and read it for yourself - you'll be a step ahead of his critics. -Lloyd A. Conway
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on March 5, 2000
Pat Buchanan, as he did with The Great Betrayal, exposes the real enemies of America (the Establishment within Washington, DC and the mainstream media which are arm-in-arm promoting a New World Order)with concrete evidence and hard cold fact and he does it by going back with a thorough analysis of our nation's entire foreign policy history.
Regrettably, most reviews critical of A Republic, Not an Empire are blatant personal attacks on Mr. Buchanan by people who usually have not read his book. And if they said they read it we are merely taking there written word it. Words meant to assure us of their intellectual honesty, yet words tucked in a writing of hate. Which is exactly the opposite character of Mr. Buchanan. These attacks violate the spirit and the letter of the guidelines posted by Amazon for writing and posting reviews. Sadly Amazon lets these condescending and belittling reviews continue.
Thus, I would challenge everyone to ignore the reviews posted by me and others and read those above by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. While they admittedly strive to be fair, balanced, measured and objective, you will find all three tip-their-hat to Mr. Buchanan for wrestling with the important issues of our time with unparalleled historical research.
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on November 13, 1999
I don't think Buchanan is "soft on Hitler" - I think he makes a good argument that Stalin was the bigger threat -- to the US. I think it is a reasonable argument: "The British-French declarations of war impelled Hitler to attack the west to secure his rear before invading Russia"..which gave Stalin two years to prepare for Hitler and "thus saved the Soviet Union for communism". The British had stopped Hitler at the Channel and Russia had stopped Hitler and by the end of 1941, Germany was facing the same Russian winter that had defeated Napoleon.
So the argument that America could have stayed out of the war even longer is valid. Obviously, the Chinese and Russians (and others), were very keen of getting us in the war to help their causes. With Russia getting pummeled by Germany, and Japan brutalizing China -- no doubt he's correct that there were outside forces trying to get us into W.W.II. Provoking Japan also helped to get the ball rolling for the forces of interventioinism. (By the way, please re-read his chapter on the Myth of American Isolationism)
Some terms stop all arguments: "racist", "anti-semetic", and now "isolationist"..If you're labeled an "isolationist" - all discourse stops and the "sheeple" bah in disgust!
Liberal propaganda has successfully marginalized Buchanan by labeling him "anti-Semitic", "racist", and an "isolationist". I think he makes a solid argument that America and our Western Allies might been better off if Hitler spent the first years of the wars on the eastern front.
If we are intellectually honest, we look back at W.W.I and see that war to make the world safe for democracy made the world safe for fascism, Bolshevism, and Nazism. It certainly is true that it is not the fighting of W.W.II that left America strong -- it was the fact that we stayed out as long as we did. America is as strong as it is today because we fought the war entirely on foreign soil, we lost only a fraction of the men that the other great powers lost, and we had the resources to profit from the world's rebuilding.
The thesis that America should focus on her own 50 states and not on try to become the world's policeman is compelling. It is not so much a treatise on isolationism as it is a tribute to what has made this Republic strong.
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on November 21, 1999
This book is an intelligent and knowledgeable assessment of America's past and current foreign policy. Pat is clearly the sharpest and most knowledgeable on all candidates running for President. Current administrations have clearly been on the wrong path by continuing to make commitments and expand our role in areas of the world where American interests do not lie.
Recent news bears out the crux of Pat's book: this week, the U.S. Army stated it is 80,000 troops short of its quota. This, as President Clinton warns Yeltsin on Chechnyan involvement. As Pat statess, not getting involved in the past has actually helped the U.S. prosper. For example, World War I raged for three years before the U.S. got involved. Would it have made sense for Woodrow Wilson to have sent our troops into the European slaughter machine any sooner? It was only when U.S. interests were at stake, that under great duress Wilson agreed to send American troops into the conflict.
This book doesn't so much present a case for isolationism, as the popular media suggests - it advocates a well thought out foreign policy in place of a "shoot from the hip" stance.
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on June 14, 2002
I have to admit that when I picked up this book I was expecting a little more fire and brimstone preaching from the �Isolationist, Protectionist, Ultra Conservative� former Presidential Candidate. I thought, given the current world affairs and the increasing obligations the US is getting into, that this book would provide an interesting dogma filled rant akin to a Denis Miller performance. To my surprise I found this book to be a well-written history lesson that detailed the US foreign policy from 1776 to 1999.
The fact that the book is well-written was not a surprise to me, the author has been a wordsmith for Presidents and a public figure for the past 30 plus years so he can put a sentence or two together. What did surprise me was the evenhanded, well constructed and complete American history run down that makes up the meat of the book. Pat covered it all, from the issues surrounding the war of 1812, the World Wars, and all the way up to the mess in Yugoslavia. He clearly explains the politics involved in each of the decisions and draws the conclusions to the historical significance of each of them. He also includes two sections of the book that covered his campaign stance on foreign policy. Of the two sections the issue of NATO and expansion into the Baltic States and Russia are proving to be incorrect, but to give him credit, history is difficult to predict and at least he was thinking through the issue and articulating it. Who knows, maybe his concerns somehow influenced the current policy makers, which have created the current outcome.
The authors thesis is that the founding fathers of American wanted the U.S. to stay out of all entangling arraignments with other countries that would include the U.S. in other peoples wars where the interests of the U.S. were not at issue. Given some of the issues we face today, this statement looks to be sound advice. American interests should only drive U.S. foreign policy. The America founding fathers never envisioned the U.S. to be an empire to the contrary, it was one of the political issues so many people were leaving their homelands to avoid. If George Washington were here today, what would he think about over 200,000 American troops in bases from Central America, through Europe and the Middle East all the way through Asia? Buchanan makes the obvious point that many countries have tried this (the UK, Spain, USSR, Portugal, France, Japan etc) and absolutely none have been successful. All that came from these empires is that the country going down this path bankrupts itself, losses many of it citizens in other peoples wars, and ends up loosing more power then if it would not have ventured out.
I had heard the claims that the author had somehow wrote that he was on the side of the Nazis in the book, as a matter of fact this was quite an up roar in the campaign. Either these people read a different book from me or it was a typical half researched over blown item by the press pumped up by Buchanan�s political detractors. I found none of the anti Semitism or pro Nazis comments in the book that was commented on in the press. Overall, I felt this was a very good book that gives a good user-friendly history lesson on American foreign policy. The comments are even handed and may even be more relevant today then they were in 1999.
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2002
Pat Buchanan goes through America's foreign policy from the early days of the republic to the present. The history covers gives detailed information about our smaller conflicts that aren't usually covered much in general history and in the media.
Buchanan says that isolationism is about isolating the country from wars that do not serve our country's purpose, it is not about isolating ourselves from the world. He says that foreign policy was isolationist until President Wilson's era when it became more interventionist. Isolationists like George Washington believed that we should avoid foreign entanglements that are not in our self-interest as a country and that we should avoid passionate and permanent attachments to allies especially when promising to help fight their battles. With this in mind, Buchanan suggests that we needn't have fought World War I or II, because it did not serve our interests and the two wars did not end up being any country's gain, but only everyone's detriment. He says that our interventionist policies in the past and present in which we issue guarantees that we will defend about any ally in case of attack is a bad policy that we may not be able to come through on anyway or if we do come through may be to our nation's detriment.
Another interesting point about America's history of foreign policy that he makes is about our pursuing what we considered our manifest destiny to expand westwards as a country. He says we did it to defeat hostile foreign imperialist countries and their Indian allies so that we would not be taken over by them when we were a weak country. He says the west was sparsely populated and it was never our foreign policy's intention to rule over foreign people like the British empire did. He says the time we took over the Phillipines was a bad move since this was a legimately imperialist move that went against our traditional foreign policy. This interpretation of history goes against the history of genocide against the American Indians; it says that the Indians were our enemies since they were allied with France and Britain.
Buchanan makes suggestions about how to change our present interventionist policy such as getting Germany and Japan to raise a larger military to defend themselves and staying out of the hornet's nest of the Middle East. We should end aid to Israel and Egypt and preside over a just peace for the Palestinians and Israelis while providing Israel access to our weapons for defensive purposes. We should get out of some our agreements to defend our allies militarily if it does not serve our national interest. He does not believe in a moralistic interventionist policy of moving in militarily when a certain ethnic group is being slaughtered. We should practice instead a policy of realpolitick that eschews the role of world policeman. He warns that our interventionist policies may be our downfall as a nation.
This is good book for finding out about foreign policy and its history from a conservative, nationalistic, and isolationist point of view.
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on October 6, 1999
Patrick Buchanan wrote another book, called "The Great Betrayal" to highlight the distinction between the fair trade policies he articulates and the protectionist caricature that his simple-minded detractors portray. To this day it is clear that none of his critics have read that fine book. Obviously "A Republic, Not an Empire" is being subjected to the same treatment here and throughout the American media. His new book is intended to highlight the difference between a rational foreign policy designed to serve the interests of all Americans and the caricature of this policy which globalists call "isolationism." The book explains, succinctly and accessibly, the history of such organizations as the America First Committee and our country's longtime opposition to knee-jerk interventionism. The views set forth in this book on the etiology and progress of the Second World War are well-known and have long been considered uncontroversial. Despite the claims of any reviewer fraudulently claiming to be a professional historian, Germany was incapable of supplying a transatlantic air attack on the United States. Someone as benighted as our "professional historian" must be that rarest of commentators, someone who does not know that Germany was unable to send a single platoon across the English Channel, let alone invade North America. The message of the book is clear - England was stupid to extend a war guarantee to Poland which it couldn't make good. As a result, England lost its Empire. Therefore, America shouldn't extend war guarantees to the Baltic States, let alone half the world. Any critic of Buchanan's who claims to be in the US military should acknowledge the simple fact that our Armed Forces cannot live up to the demands of our vast network of opportunistic "allies". Our mouths are writing checks that our butts can't cash.
In sum, this book rips off the mask of lies that constitutes our current foreign policy, and dismantles the tendentious historical misinterpretations that bolster that policy. I note with interest that not one critic here has quoted any passage of the book which contains any error of historical fact - nor has anyone in the political or media establishment. All the nasty rhetoric they have been slinging has been to one purpose - they want you, the public, never to read this book because you might 1) start examining these issues for yourself and 2) start questioning the policies that keep them rich and out of harm's way.
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on November 20, 1999
I just finished reading this powerful, 390 page masterpiece covering American foreign policy.
If you read this book, you will find the truth behind the media attacks-namely that Buchanan's enemies are fairly good at lying.
Read this book to understand American foreign policy, and also to learn some interesting facts along the way.
For example, who knew that John F Kennedy and Gerald Ford were both involved with the famous anti-war America First commitee, with the first contributing $100, and the second being a member.
This is a broad call for Americans to reject imperialism, and instead stay strong. This book follows the development of the American empire, and shows that the time to expand is not now, that the time is to keep what we have, and not march towards a "New World Order" as George Bush Sr., its biggest cheerleader, called the "Pax Americana." And this book argues strongly against the mask of "Globalism" a absurd way to hoodwink people into giving in to transnational corporations.
A Must-Read for the Presidential campaign in 2000.
A Must-Read for any student of history or foreign policy.
Trust me, unlike Bush who doesn't know who the "Greeks" are, Buchanan shows his impressive grasp of foreign policy.
In 2000, Buchanan is the only candidate that is for a strong American nation united in peace, defending our vital interests.
As for the media lies, this book shows Hitler, Stalin, the Nazis, and the Soviet Communists to be "killers" and this book is a rude reminder of the truth to those of his Establishment enemies who smear him with "Holocaust denier" (I counted at least 9 times in the book in the brief 50 page discussion of World War 2 of the evils of the Holocaust).
So read the book, and find just how far some Establishment enemies of Buchanan will go to lie about a masterpiece of a book.
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on November 18, 2002
Pat Buchanan writes an excellent analysis of U.S. foreign policy throughout U.S. history. He does a great job of applying historical fact to modern foreign policy problem solving, and paints a picture of an ever-more imperialist United States about to go one step too far. A Republic, Not an Empire builds a convincing case for a U.S. foreign policy geared toward American interests, rather than "lofty" nation-building or imperial power.
Critical readers should beware of the Romantic Buchanan, however, who emerges in his adoring discussion of Andrew Jackson, or when he blames Mexico for starting the Mexican-American War. Furthermore, although Buchanan does not express admiration for Hitler, he omits the fact that the great "isolationist," Charles Lindbergh, visited Nazi Germany several times, supped with the likes of Hermann Goering, and expressed admiration for Nazi "order" and "morality." Putting the spotlight on Lindbergh tainted his argument somewhat.
Nevertheless, if you have an open mind and want to take an honest look at U.S. foreign policy, then this book is for you.
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