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America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 0521838347
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Editorial Reviews


"[Halper and Clarke's] thoughtful, insightful work spans ideological and partisan differences, a rare phenomenon in these times..the argument never has been put together so persuasively, so conclusively and so effectively." Washington Post

"Halper and Clarke document in detail the origins, history, near disappearance, and recent ascension of the neoconservative 'interest group' in dominating the decisions and discourse surrounding US foreign policy decision-making since the 9-11 terrorist attacks." E.A. Turpen, Henry L. Stimson Center, CHOICE

"[The authors] have done the near-impossible...they offer convincing, powerful, new insights on a crucial and widely-discussed development in America's relations with the world. The book is fair-minded...fascinating...full of valuable guidance for the next phase in U.S. foreign policy. Its analysis is the more trenchant for coming from two bona fide conservatives." James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

"Its thesis is that an unelected group of right-wing intellectuals have taken over U.S. foreign policy, to the detriment of the United States and the world as a whole." Providence Journal

"[Halper and Clarke's] thoughtful, insightful work spans ideological and partisan differences, a rare phenomenon in these times...the argument never has been put together so persuasively, so conclusively and so effectively." Washington Post

"America Alone is a sobering critique of U.S. foreign policy by two very serious conservatives. What makes their book so powerful is that their conclusion appears to be right." Washington Times

HB ISBN (2004) 0-521-83834-7

"...an engrossing tale about the roots and impact of neo-conservatives on American policy...must reading not only for what it says about how they did it, but also for documenting the paucity - in the U.S. government and beyond --of meaningful debate about the potential risks as well as benefits of mounting 'preventive' war in response to the events of September 11, 2001." Chester A. Crocker, Former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1981-89, and James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Georgetown University

"This book dissects the American neo-conservatives and their ideology...You do not need to agree with the authors' every word to find this powerful critique of an important contemporary stream in American thinking enlightening and thought provoking." Dame Pauline Neville Jones, Former Political Director of the British Foreign Office, 1993-96

Book Description

America's immense military power is of concern to all. Used wisely, it can preserve freedom; used unwisely, it will fracture global stability. We argue that so long as neo-conservatives radicals dominate the nation's national security process, fracture is more likely. These means Americans will see increasing threats in the future. The book is important because it identifies, clearly and for the first time, who these people are and what their agenda is. Itsets out an alternative approach based on a return to the mainstream principles that have successfully guided American diplomacy for half a century.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (June 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521838347
  • ASIN: B0071UNP6S
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,456,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Swan VINE VOICE on August 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although George W. Bush has gotten credit for the new face of American foreign policy his is merely a reflection of an intellectual movement that's been around for decades, solidified in the early 90's and really took hold after September 11th. The ideology is known as neo-conservativism and its adherents litter the White House and Pentagon. They are marked by an intense hatred of international agreements and organizations, diplomacy and the State Department. The neo-cons preach a black and white, good and evil (with us or against us) worldview and frame their arguments in moralistic terms. To them military force is the catch all answer for international problems with some neo-cons going so far as to advocate continual war. Americans forget or perhaps don't realize that Iraq was intended to be just the first in a string of wars that included Syria, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern and African counties.

Rather than an attack from the left `America Alone' is a measured criticism of neo-conservativism from the middle right. The authors point to an intellectual wattage drain in the second generation neo-conservatives. Whereas the first generation went through an evolution in thinking and prided themselves on intellectual experimentation the second generation seems to have been, as the author put it, born middle aged. Experimentation gave way to inflexibility to the point where neo-conservatives found themselves incapable of adapting to a new and increasingly open Soviet Union emerged. The new generation has by and large abandoned academia and moved straight into politics and policy making but operate like someone working from within a gated community.
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Format: Hardcover
This book singlehandedly restored my confidence in the potential for reasoned political debate in our society, and by extentension the future of our republic.

In a country where the likes of Sean Hannity scream in your right ear, and the likes of Michael Moore scream in your left, it becomes difficult for a reasonable, neutral citizen to make sense of what's going on in these our troubled times. In our frighteningly polarized society, the truth is easily drowned out by the din of the polemicists.

Enter Halper and Clarke. These two self-proclaimed conservatives calmly and clinically dissect a perversion of their school known as neo-conservatism. Tracing their development from roots in Cold War liberalism to their apex in the Bush administration, Halper and Clarke's sober and authoratative analysis warns us of the dangers of neo-conservatives' proclivities to unilateralism, closed-minded self-righteousness, and brute military force. As a result, the American government has lost credibility both domestically and internationally, forfeited its moral high ground, and fanned--rather than extinguished--the raging fires of anti-Americanism and terrorism.

I cannot stress enough the impartiality of this book. While they completely disagree with neo-conservatives, they do not launch into endless ad hominem assaults, throw out red herrings, or get red in the face. Quite the contrary, Halper and Clarke think that neo-conservatives genuinely believe that their policies are best for America. I suppose, in a sense, that this is damning them with faint praise. In the end, their analysis is rationally argued and compelling.

This is an exceptionally important book for our times.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shows the Neo-Con agenda to be the bankrupt policy that it truly is - a 21st Century fable of the "Emperor's New Clothes." Except people - American GI's, Iraqis and Afghans - are dying because of this fable. For anyone who wants to understand this administration's foreign policy - and just how it has been hi-jacked - this is the book! This is a concise recording of ideology over reality. The facts be damned. The ideological agenda is what is important - not the reality of the facts. "Damn the torpedoes - Full speed ahead." (And after all, those of us in Washington and Academia who espouse this theory aren't the ones who must do the bleeding and dying. We have others to do that for us.)

I think a few excerpts from the book explain our current foreign policy - and the reasons for the war in Iraq. A basic tenet of the Neo-Con movement is American Supremacy - military and other. Hence there is no need to be bothered with other nations or their interests. This is the famous "Unipolar Moment" which is now an "Era." This is the reason we need "no entangling alliances."

"Having, as we have shown, more or less abandoned international cooperation as a means of achieving American objectives, having an almost religious belief in military power, and living by a historically anomalous selfish interpretation of American leadership, Neo-conservatives prefer to go it alone." (pg 272)

On page 281 is a quote from a historical figure which is very apropos -

"As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil then the good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy" - John Locke.
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