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America As Empire: Global Leader or Rogue Power? Hardcover – January 11, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Garrison, president of the State of the World Forum, reviews America's rise to the de facto status of an "imperial republic" and suggests that the country can "articulate a vision of greatness" that will lead the rest of the world into liberal democracy. Garrison is undoubtedly correct that no other nation is powerful enough to lead the charge, and his historical analysis is strong despite its brevity. Yet the author's emphasis on the positive prospects for "the first planetary civilization" will strike many as overly optimistic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jim Garrison was born in Szechuan Province, China, in 1951 to Baptist missionaries. He lived with his family in Taiwan from 1953 to 1965, after which they settled permanently in San Jose, California. While attending Abraham Lincoln High School there, he was twice elected student body president.
Garrison began college at Pepperdine University (1969–70), attended the University of Tel Aviv as an exchange student in 1972, and received a B.A. magna cum laude in World History from Santa Clara University in 1973. He then went on to obtain a double M.T.S. in Christology and History of Religion from Har- vard Divinity School (1975) and a Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from Cambridge University (1982).
Top customer reviews
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Garrison argues convincingly that our current foreign policy, typified by unilateral military interventions, ad-hoc "coalitions of the willing," and devaluation of international law, international accords, and international organizations such as NATO and the UN, is dangerously misguided. He shows that even though our military power is enormously greater than any current or likely adversary, reliance on military power alone cannot solve the global problems that spawn failed states, violent extremism, and terrorism.
Instead, he advocates that the U.S. needs a "transcendental vision" of itself as the last empire, a transitional empire that steers the world toward an era of global good governance. He argues that we should have a much more balanced approach based on what he sees as all three main themes of our history--democracy, market capitalism, and our view of ourselves as destined to bring the light of freedom to the world. He feels that this vision led the U.S. to create the League of Nations after WWI, the United Nations, NATO, and other great international institutions after WWII, and should guide us now to stabilize the world not only through our military might, but also by creating and fostering new and better forms of international cooperation and governance.
I feel that Garrison has a lot to say that both liberals and conservatives need to hear. He makes it clear to the left that the world is in a state of crisis that requires forceful U.S. leadership backed up by the willingness to intervene militarily when and where needed. But he also makes it clear to the right that relying only or primarily on our military power, without building strong and wise international institutions, will lead to disaster.
I found this book extremely clear, very well written, highly informative, and thought-provoking.
I think that every concerned citizen should read it, and only hope that our leaders will read it too.
Robert Adler, author of _Medical Firsts: From Hippocrates to the Human Genome; and Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation
America's founders believed that the proper foreign policy for a freedom loving nation can be summed up as "Free Trade With All and Entangling Alliances with None". Garrison, on the other hand, is for any kind of entanglement that can harness the USA to the goals of international socialism.
I too object to a US foreign policy that places us in the role of global policeman and has us interfering with the internal affairs of others. We should be encouraging our business people, scientists and artists to go abroad to make peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with the peoples of the world, not sending our soldiers out to enforce the will of some small group of elite fat cats that have been scheming to run this country for their own benefit since before we were even a nation.
The only way we can exist peacefully with the rest of the world and enjoy freedom and prosperity at home is to strictly limit the power and scope of the State.
Unfortunately Garrison believes the opposite. In fact in a recent Public Radio interview he stated his belief that we need to raise taxes so the State can again have the resources it needs so it can return to the business of creating wealth as it did in the good old days of president Franklin D Roosevelt and the "New Deal"! Is it possible that people still believe that old propaganda!!?
Of course government wealth creating schemes are like spinning gold from straw and when they fail, as they inevitably must, the people's attention will need to be distracted, and nothing serves better for that purpose than a good war.
"War is the Health of the State", and the State is not you and me brothers and sisters!