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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,if flawed,overview of American foreign policy
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...
Published on March 3, 2000 by J. Davis

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but a little wacky
I really liked the work. I think much of the history was indeed accurate. Where I part ways with Mr. Buchanan is in the lessons that he draws and his conclusions. The problem is with Mr. Buchanan's assessment of what should be learned from the America First movement (and other events chronicled in this work) not his recitation of the history. What most of us learned from...
Published on August 18, 2005 by Frederick L. Merritt Jr.


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for this book!!!!!, December 9, 2002
By 
Fiona (North Salem, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Republic, Not an Empire (Hardcover)
This is such a refreshing view of American foreign policy. This book completely reaffirmed my views on the cause of September 11 and the overcommitment of the United States. My favorite quote is a relatively simple analysis: "We are not hated for what we believe; we are hated for what we do... the terrorists were over here because we are over there." Thus, he refutes the Bush Administration's explanation for the terrorist attacks, an explanation which most Americans accept without question. This is a must-read for every American citizen; it provides a solid historical base and analysis of every important historical event and its contribution to American hegemony. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! you cannot honestly say you know about American foreign policy until you do.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We need Pat back from the wilderness, March 14, 2001
This review is from: A Republic, Not an Empire (Hardcover)
If there had been a maximum point of peril for America in the war in Europe, it was the summer of 1940, after France had been overrun and England seemed about to be invaded, with the possible scuttling or loss of the British fleet. But after the Royal Air Force won the Battle of Britain, the German invasion threat was history. If Goering's Luftwaffe could not achieve air supremacy over the Channel, how was it going to achieve it over the Atlantic? If Hitler could not put a soldier in England in the fall of 1940, the notion that he could invade the Western Hemisphere-with no surface ships to engage the United States and British fleets and the U.S. airpower dominant in the west Atlantic-was preposterous. -Pat Buchanan (A Republic, Not an Empire)
Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing. -George Orwell
There it is a nutshell. That is what all the fuss about. Pat Buchanan has written a lively, engaging and important assessment of 200 years of American Foreign Policy. He offers a compelling argument that we have dangerously, even disastrously, drifted away from the Founding Fathers' vision of an America free of foreign entanglements. Relying on the entirely mainstream work of historians like Paul Kennedy, Paul Johnson and Walter McDougall (see Orrin's review of Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776 (1997)(Grade: A), he provides a clear and concise review of history, makes a pretty irrefutable case for muscular isolationism as an integral theme of American policy and offers a strong argument that nations which take on extensive foreign obligations tend to perish. And out of all of this, all you hear people talking about is how he's somehow "soft on Hitler". What a load of bunk.
I've addressed that canard before (see Letter to the Editor). I think it's fairly obvious to any impartial observer that Buchanan is right on at least this point, Nazi Germany was no threat to the United States in 1941. Whether we, and the world, would have been better served by simply stepping aside and allowing Hitler and Stalin to slug it out, is a more difficult question to answer definitively. But looking back on the wreckage left over from the Soviet Union and the Cold War, it's hard to see how things could have actually been worse had we done so.
But the hysteria over this issue has allowed Pat to skate on several other points where he seems to me to be more clearly in the wrong. First, while it is understandable given the administrations he served, he is guilty of not rigorously applying the logic of his own argument to the Cold War. If he were to be scrupulously honest, he would have to call into question the entire policy of containment and the forty year American confrontation with the Soviet Union. This policy will, like America's entry into WWII, never be dealt with in a clear eyed manner, because the West eventually "won" the Cold War. But it behooves the reader to consider whether bankrupting the nation, tearing ourselves apart over Korea, Vietnam, Central America, etc. and creating a massive Security State was truly worthwhile in light of the fact that we allowed most of the globe to fester under communist tyranny for that entire period.
In the first instance, we have to regard the decision to stop the war in Europe with the Communists still in power in Russia as an incontrovertible disaster. Second, we have to consider whether we did not have some moral obligation to take the Cold War hot and juke it out with the USSR. Third, we should at least contemplate the possibility that the USSR would have fallen as quickly, or even more quickly, had we simply ignored them. Not only was much of their oppression legitimized by the argument that they faced a hostile West, it is also likely that had they been allowed to overrun more of their neighbors they would have become even more overextended and the centrifugal forces that contributed to their demise would have been greatly exacerbated. If, as I believe, the criticism of American engagement in WWII is legitimate, then the same criticism, or at least a critical eye, should be turned on American engagement in the Cold War. Buchanan's failure to engage in this exercise unnecessarily weakens his overall argument about the pedigree and success of U.S. isolationism.
More centrally, Buchanan's essential thesis, that we have incurred too many obligations in the world, obligations which we would be irresponsible to fulfill, while it is absolutely correct, has been rendered a nullity by the march of budgetary politics. The present budget surplus--despite Clintonian and Republican rhetoric about hard decisions, revolutions, and fiscal responsibility--is exclusively a product of the gutting of the Defense Budget. We now spend less ( in adjusted dollars, percentage of the budget and percentage of GDP) on the military than we did in the years leading up to World War II and, as a result, we once again have a hollow army. There is no way on God's Green Earth that we could ever meet any of the treaty obligations that rightly concern Pat, unless we resorted to nuclear weapons (the prospect of rapid resort to nukes does not particularly bother me, but one assumes that most critics of this book would be troubled, if not horrified, by the prospect).
We no longer have the manpower, nor the materiel, nor the willingness to pay for the type of military excursion that he fears we will be sucked into. (Recall that even in the relatively minor Gulf War we made other nations foot the bill.) Sure we can stop China from taking Taiwan, but that is more a function of the difficulty of the task. We might even stop North Korea from taking South Korea, because some Americans would be killed in the North's invasion. But let Russia decide to pummel Chechnya and we stand around like the paper tiger that we have become and mouth hoary platitudes while the attacks continue. Does anyone honestly think that we would saddle up and ride to the rescue of Lithuania in like circumstances? Be real. The forces of isolation that are tightly interwoven in the American psyche have been hard at work for a decade now and have already answered many of Pat's concerns. Regardless of the high-flown phrases of the Clintonistas, the fact remains, Bill Clinton, Strobe Talbott, Madeline Albright, et al, preside over an America which is incapable, because it is unwilling, of backing up the promises that we have made. In battling against the prospect of American military intervention abroad, Buchanan is, by and large, attacking a straw man. National pride and American trustworthiness will be the casualties, not American boys, should a bill come due for one of our myriad alliances.
There is one other thing that is being ignored in the mad rush to condemn Pat and brand him an extremist kook. The press, the critics and the pundits are overlooking the fact that Pat is providing exactly what they always claim to want, a campaign of ideas. Regardless of whether you agree with any or all of what he says, I think you have to acknowledge that he has elevated the intellectual content of this campaign, indeed he appears to have raised it beyond the capacity of the talking heads to understand his thesis, and started an important national dialogue over America's proper role in the world. After the recent Presidential contests that devolved into cat fights over things like flag burning, Sister Souljah, Willie Horton, and the like, it is refreshing to see candidates actually discussing more profound issues like WWII, entangling alliances, free trade, etc. But, typically, the nattering class is so repelled by his ideas that they refuse to even acknowledge that he is trying something exceedingly rare in the history of the Republic; he's actually running on a unified and coherent ideology.
In fact, there have only been two other major candidates this century who presented such a clearly ideologically based message to the voters--Goldwater and Reagan. Significantly, both of them were likewise treated as kooks by the mainstream intelligentsia. Goldwater of course got trounced, but Reagan, running on virtually the same platform 16 years later, won in a landslide and changed the political landscape for a generation. Now Pat is running a campaign which embraces not merely any old ideas, but themes that have proven extraordinarily resilient throughout our nation's history. His arguments can be dismissed by the nabobs, if they don't honestly engage the issues he raises, but they do so at significant risk to their own hegemony. This election may not be the one that returns us to an openly stated posture of isolationism, but that is clearly where we are headed and, more than likely, where most of us hope to arrive.
This is an extremely entertaining book, written with Buchanan's trademark polemical style (a style developed in the Nixon White House and honed by twenty years of McLau
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A patriot's warning for America, October 5, 2004
There was a time when the name of Patrick J. Buchanan struck terror in the hearts of those on the left, but even the political right for which he was a prominent spokesman have looked askance on his activities ever since his ill-fated run for the White House against George H.W. Bush in 1992. Several years later, he further alienated his party and earned the admiration of true independents by joining forces with Ralph Nader to warn the nation of the danger that NAFTA represented for America's workers.

Buchanan is now, in a sense, a man without a party as he sees both Democrats and Republicans sacrificing American sovereignty as they join the movement toward globalization.

In "A Republic, Not An Empire," Buchanan sounds like a man who could comfortably share a drink with Gore Vidal, technically a leftist, but officially another small "r" republican who sees the U.S.A. in danger of becoming an empire, fighting wars and invading countries for the benefit of a "New World Order" rather than the preservation of our own self-interests. Buchanan doesn't merely sound off, but provides detailed history lessons that demonstrate the unwieldy and dangerous path America is following, and continues to follow no matter what party is leading the nation.

This is neither a "liberal" nor a "conservative" book. It's the work of a true patriot, and recommended reading for those on both sides of the political fence.

Brian W. Fairbanks
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Americans Should Be Reading This Book, July 12, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Republic, Not an Empire (Hardcover)
Regrettably Pat Buchanan will not be included in the 2000 presidential debates. That's lucky for Gore and Bush but unlucky for American voters, who should read this candidate's discussion of American foreign policy. It presents foreign policy roots and history in a clear continuum, and it visits America's global involvements today, suggesting that today's policy is an absolute and dangerous disconnect from those of past years in which the U.S. became a world leader and superpower. I intitally read this book in order to see what the critics meant when they accused Buchanan of being a Nazi sympathizer. I found nothing. He clearly does not worship FDR and Churchill, as American lore is wont to do. But that doesn't make him a Nazi, does it? And Buchanan addresses the "isolationist"name-calling baloney very well, also. Generally, I found this to be a wonderful review of American history and a careful study of American foreign policy from eighteenth century beginnings to the present. It's pretty important stuff, compared to the drivel we're hearing from the two patrician candidates.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting foreign policy perspective, August 27, 2002
By 
Vinny (Once Green, Earth) - See all my reviews
I liked the way this book was edited to focus on the u.s government foreign policy right from Washington thru W. It's a no frills, slick and interesting read from a man who would be synonymous with the far right. Though I disagree with him on a wide variety of issues like abortion, immigration yada yada yada, his position on foreign policy definitely makes sense. He also makes an honest attempt to answer the interesting question as to "Why do people hate us (u.s government)?" as opposed to citing childish reasons like prosperity and all. His opinion of the government following a neo-imperialist policy is obvious, the only caveat being he gives a complete clean chit to Reagan since he was his advisor. Surely, this is not going to turn the tables on the jingoists residing in the government but it's a good beginning for a debate to change the future course of foreign policy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A contemporary classic, April 6, 2002
This review is from: A Republic, Not an Empire (Hardcover)
This is one of the best books available on American Foreign Policy. Mr. Buchanan remarkably outlines the critical yet historical elements of the American foreign policy. Not only the analysis are brilliant but they are also very reader friendly. He discusses the historical American support for the Israel, NATO and the Baltic, and the price of this support. After reading this book I became aware of the some of the most complex US-Israeli relations such as US disappointment over the technology transfer when Israel sold Patriot and Python missile, and F-16 among other spy planes technology to China. In addition, Mr. Buchanan illustrates how `sick man of the Europe' (Russia) will get better and inevitably confront the US led NATO expansion into the Eastern Europe. And when such time comes and Russia tries re-strengthen its buffer zone by placing its army in the Baltic, will it be worth loosing American soldiers over countries such as Poland, Latvia etc. since under NATO article V, attack on one is attack on all. One thing Mr. Buchanan stresses over and over again is the cost benefit analysis for the support of the `so-called' American vital interests for which America will go to war. And while he is stressing and outlines these issues he articulately ask the reader are these interests (e.g. NATO, Poland, Baltic and Israel) really America's vital interests?
I think this book a very good read. It catches reader's attention from the very beginning. I strongly recommend this book to all who are interested in this sort of reading. It is a must read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be retitled "I Warned You About the Neocons", July 10, 2005
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When this book was first published, the media elite - both left and right - quickly condemmed it as 'extremist'. And why? Because PB had the gaul to question whether we should have gotten involved in WWI and II, and whether our interests were best served. If WWII was not in the interest of America, but other interests- European powers, and so on - then how could the US government have had the gaul to forcibliy draft americans to fight and have 280,000 of them die?

In this book he reminded us that George Washington warned about "passionate foreign attachments", and how getting involved in such attachments would lead to more and more violence and hostilyt and erode the strength of the American Nation state, and erode our republican (small r) ideals. Nearly everything Pat Buchanan has predicted about our foriegn policy adventures has come true.

Those of you who might be on the 'serious' 'thinking' left will appreciate much of what he has to say here - and those conservatives who'se patriotism is currently being mis-used should read this sobering history of our foriegn policy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old fire-brand is at it again!, June 14, 2001
By 
James P. Brett "Publius" (Valrico, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Republic, Not an Empire (Hardcover)
Those of you who've read "The Great Betrayal" by this author will enjoy this title too. Isn't it interesting how "America First" isn't a popular idea anymore? Well, Pat's all for America, and not an 'isolationist' America. His points are well taken on the historical record of American foreign policy, at least what it was before the 'sea-change' after the Second World War. .... He's right in saying that Germany in 1940 was not a threat to us (America). We didn't get into WWII to 'make the world safe for democracy'; we did it for the money (the bankers). Pat's book is a call to return to the foreign policy America had prior to 1950 -- to try to avoid entanglements overseas. That's going to be a tough sell today.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True GOP values, January 1, 2005
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Buchanan has written a masterpiece with this book. Seeing what the current "GOP" has become, books like this shed some light on how "republicans" have lost their way.

Favoring imperialism/militarism, occupation and LARGE governments is NOT what the Republican party is about. I hope that more Americans read this book to once again recapture what our Founding Fathers wanted for this Great Nation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows that American foreign policy was never isolationist, April 28, 2005
By 
Michael Emmett Brady "mandmbrady" (Bellflower, California ,United States) - See all my reviews
Buchanan(B)has done his homework.He goes back to the founding of the American Republic in 1787 and shows that every single war with a foreign power(War of 1812,Mexican American War of 1846-48,Spanish American war of 1898) and/or military action(1802-1803 battles with Tripoli pirates) engaged in up until the aftermath of the Spanish American War(McKinley's claim that God had told him to sieze the Philippines combined with the subsequent defeat of Filipino patriots in the war of 1902-03) involved clearcut,direct threats to American borders/interests. It is the period from 1899 ,starting with the completely unjustified war against Filipino patriots,through the eight years of the Woodrow Wilson administration,1912-1920,that American military force is used in situations where no direct/indirect threat to American interests/borders starts to be undertaken .The best book to read concerning these unjustified military operations is still Marine General Smedley Butler's account.The main conclusion that can be derived from B's careful analysis of the historical record is that the term "isolationist"is a gravely inaccurate description of those Americans who opposed American entry into World Wars I and II,the Vietnam war and/or the second Iraq war of 2003-2006(?).One can,of course, disagree with the arguments put forth by those who opposed entry into these wars(i.e.,direct American interests were at stake).However,to label them as "isolationists", in an attempt to avoid having to meet their arguments head on,is simply nonsensical.
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A Republic, Not an Empire
A Republic, Not an Empire by Patrick J. Buchanan (Hardcover - September 1, 1999)
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