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The World America Made Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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In the Arena: Good Citizens, a Great Republic, and How One Speech Can Reinvigorate America by Pete Hegseth
"In The Arena" by Pete Hegseth
A call to arms for restoring American virtues and renewing America’s strength using Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech, by Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth. Learn more
$13.25 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“At once a robust defense of the role America plays in world affairs and a determined rejection of the ‘myth’ that America is in decline.”
Financial Times 
 
“Kagan’s writing bristles with insights and ideas.”
Foreign Affairs

“An extended and convincing argument against the thesis that there is anything inevitable about American decline.”
Commentary
 
“Accessible, thought-provoking and extraordinary. . . . Robert Kagan has both the foreign policy credentials and political street cred to know from whence he speaks. . . . A book about such a grand topic as global strategy runs two risks. First is making definitive assertions in the face of enormous complexity. . . . The second is imparting too much meaning from historical events. . . . However, Mr. Kagan avoids both traps. He skillfully reasons from a wide breadth of compelling facts that from the end of World War II to today, for better (he believes) or worse, and often with great ambivalence, America has raised the living standards of the world while helping democracy grow and flourish and the democratic world should and will likely want to keep it that way.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The book makes the case that the nation’s decline is a myth, a reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 rather than to any genuine geopolitical shifts.”
The New York Times

“These ideas struck a chord with a President accused of leading a great American retreat.”
TIME

“Kagan grabs the reader’s attention from page one. . . . Kagan makes a powerful point: If America were to make a serious effort to disengage in world affairs, the world quickly would devolve into a much more scary and dangerous place.”
The Augusta Chronicle

“[Kagan] seems to care less about partisanship than about ideas, particularly his advocacy for a powerful American role in the world. . . . The virtue of Kagan’s book is that his ideas and logic are so clearly laid out that readers can see where they agree or disagree.”
The Washington Post

“Kagan paints with a broad brush, sprinkling a memorable metaphor here, a striking simile there . . . He provides a compelling demonstration that whether it’s protecting the sea lanes vital for free trade or nudging societies toward democracy, the world stands a better chance with America in prime position than with China or Russia in the lead.”
The New York Times Book Review

“[Marco] Rubio’s foreign-policy views have evidently been recently shaped by a reading of Robert Kagan’s The World America Made, a much-discussed refutation of the now-popular notion of American decline. As a Romney advisor who has penned bedside reading for President Barack Obama, Kagan could plausibly claim to be the most prominently cited writer in Washington right now.”
Foreign Policy Magazine

“Intelligent, cogent, and timely.”
Publishers Weekly

“Serious, scholarly . . . [These are] ideas expressed clearly and consicely.”
—David Ignatius, Washington Post Writers Group

“The foreign policy blueprint for the next Republican president.”
—Senator Marco Rubio

“Kagan grabs the reader’s attention from page one . . . He makes a powerful point: If America were to make a serious effort to disengage in world affairs, the world quickly would devolve into a much more scary and dangerous place . . . If you have time to read just one book, I suggest Kagan’s.”
—Major General Perry Smith

“Magisterial . . . It’s a small book, it’s a great book.”
—Bill Bennett

“Very important . . . A wonderful book.”
—Hugh Hewitt

“A must-read.”
—Lou Dobbs

About the Author

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist for The Washington Post. He is also the author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams, Dangerous Nation, Of Paradise and Power, and A Twilight Struggle. He served in the U.S. State Department from 1984 to 1988. He lives with his wife and two children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345802713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345802712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Kagan's major argument is that all the talk of American decline shows little knowledge and perspective in regard to the various historical situations and realities the United States has been through. `Decline' as he sees it is not an inevitability but a choice and one great danger is that accepting the conventional wisdom regarding America's alleged decline will help promote it.
To argue against inevitable U.S. decline Kagan assesses the present situation of the United States and defines it in a different way from most other commentators. He maintains that the United States still has one- quarter of the world`s GDP- the same figure that it has had over the past three decades. The single great unusual point was after World War Two where it had fifty percent of the world product. Kagan notes that the U.S decline is often compared with the British Empire decline though late nineteeth and early twentieth century Britain had a rapid fall in share of global GDP of a kind the U.S. has never known.
On the military front Kagan argues that the U.S. remains far superior to any potential rival. He notes that it ,contrary to common opinion, has a far smaller percentage of its population serving overseas than it did in the sixties and seventies. He points out that the U.S. has a far superior array of military technologies than any potential rival. This military superiority is vital to the U.S. being the key provider in a more secure and prosperous world. i.e. Kagan's argument is not only that U.S. power is not in decline, it is that U.S. power is beneficial to the peoples of the world, and in fact makes the world- system operate in a far better way than it would were any other power to be its leader. In this Kagan clearly suggests that those who preach U.S.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The core idea underlying Robert Kagan's short book is straightforward: Any world order is dependent, both for its formulation and for its maintenance, on the most powerful state or states of the day. The current world order is largely a creation of postwar American power. Kagan's main question, then, is two-fold. First, is America in decline, as much contemporary commentary suggests? And if it is, can it be supposed that the current economic, ideological, and security order--based on the primacy of liberal democracy and free-trade, free-market economies--would continue if American power or influence were eclipsed? Kagan's answer is no, not because of anything special about America, but simply because any world order is a reflection of its strongest powers. Kagan was a foreign policy adviser to John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign, and apparently to Mitt Romney now, but it would be wrong to assume that he is narrowly partisan. Kagan sits on Secretary of State Clinton's Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and President Obama (we are told) has been an eager student of his work. In this book, he is both complimentary and critical of Republican as well as Democratic presidents. He is looking not at any specific policies as much as he is looking at structures. This is not to say that his views are not informed by ideology. Correctly or not, some have identified him with the neoconservative strain in American foreign policy thinking. Whether or not that is accurate (Kagan rejects it), there is certainly an ideology at work in his writings. It is conservative, but it is not constrained by the demands of narrow partisanship.

Early in the book, Kagan nicely captures the ambiguities and ambivalences in the American character and national mythology.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this book is short it is pithy. No need for a lot of words to explain a position and give examples for thought. This is the sign of an excellent writer and thinker, and Robert Kagan easily fits the description. In The World America Made Kagan sets forth the concept that the USA is not an evil empire soaking the world with Imperialist ideals. Rather, the USA has spent money and blood to keep the world stable and insure the nurturing of democracy. The fact that since 1945 the world has been stable and productive and grown in economic prosperity beyond belief is proof enough that overall American policy has been correct.

Oddly, as I write this review in March of 2014, the Russians have invaded and conquered Crimea and threaten the Ukraine. At the same time the Russians are expanding their territory by force Red China is pressuring Japan and other nations in its orbit for territorial concessions. As the USA pulls back from its position as the leader of the world we see what the world would have been like -and will be like- as America passes from the world stage. Kagan wrote his book in 2012, but now we can see that he was entirely correct. People have not changed in the post-modern era as progressives suggest. As American power declines the world is becoming a very frightening place.

The present US administration, under Obama, has planned to remove the USA from the role of the world's policeman; however, they are doing this without allowing our allies time to rearm and fill the power vacuum. The way to leave a leadership role is to announce that you are going to pull back in 3 years and tell Germany, France, England, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and others to start protecting themselves.
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