- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061436968
- ISBN-13: 978-0061436963
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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- #2907 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Commentary & Opinion
- #2926 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > International & World Politics > Security
- #10987 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines
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America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers Hardcover – March 25, 2008
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Well-reasoned and timely . . . His approach should be required reading for anyone who cares about the diminishing ability of our elected officials to seek common ground and people everywhere interested in an inspirational American life. (Alan Greenspan )
This forthright and surprisingly blunt book... details his public life as a United States senator and gives him an opportunity to ask some tough questions, and to make some tough judgments. Hagel has made his mark in the U.S. Senate by being his own man, a man above partisanship. (Journal Star Review )
Chuck Hagel is a leader and passionate advocate of dialogue and multilateral engagement, and his book describes in clear terms why the world needs enlightened American leadership. His vivid examination of American politics provides a rationale for future policy. (Kofi A. Annan )
America The Next Chapter is a powerful combination of personal reminiscence and public policy prescription. Hagel is an authentic and courageous voice --a principled Republican
About the Author
Chuck Hagel, Nebraska's senior senator, is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate. His duties include membership on four senate committees: Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Intelligence; and Rules. Hagel and his brother Tom served side by side in Vietnam in 1968 as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry Division. He earned many military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts. A fourth-generation Nebraskan, Senator Hagel is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this book, Hagel expresses his opposition to the Iraq War, even though he voted in its favor in October 2002. After an extensive description of the War in Iraq and the errors this administration committed there, Hagel's book focuses on three foreign policy areas namely the Middle East, Iran and China.
On the Middle East, Hagel writes that reaching Arab-Israeli peace is overdue. He said the fact that late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat had turned down former Israeli PM Ehud Barrack's offer, which granted Palestinians 95 percent of their demands, in Camp David in 2000, puzzled him. To learn the truth, Hagel took a trip to Damascus and met late President Hafez Assad, who told him that Arafat had no authority to sign peace on behalf of all the Arabs. So to Hagel, Arafat could never deliver. But what this experienced Senator missed is that Assad was Arafat's nemesis, and while Arafat enjoyed the support of the rest of the Arab world, Assad was mostly isolated and enjoyed good relations with non-Arab Iran only.
Hagel goes on to reiterate a message that you can find in Jim Webb's book, A Time to Fight, when he considers the Middle East too complicated to understand and dominated by never ending rivalries, feuds, civil wars, and cross border wars. True the Middle East is complicated, and it is true too that Senator Hagel, by the time he had written this book, had not yet grasped it or how its politics work.
On Iran, Hagel makes the most unconvincing case. So Iranians love America, but the Iranian regime is not as nice. Therefore, America should talk to the regime to solve the nuclear standoff. While dialogue in international politics is always a good thing, Hagel fails to define the perimeters of America's engagement with Iran. Saying dialogue should be unconditional only is not enough. Hagel should have provided more details about the terms which would make of the dialogue a good deal for America to take, and the reasons that would make such talks a-not-so-desirable package.
On China, Hagel suggests a relationship that does not vary a lot from what the US has been employing with its Asian rival since Nixon.
Hagel's book is a good read with a superbly entertaining style. For beginners on world politics, I suggest you pass on this book. For the more informed ones, read this book, but take its conclusions and recommendations with a grain of salt.
Although he is embraced by democrats and reviled by the Rush Limbaughs of the world, it is important to remember that the retiring Senator is who he is: a man of largely consistent, conservative values - not of a neoconservative, often self-contradicting ideology.
He has been vilified by the likes of Cheney for his outspoken attitude toward the Iraq disaster, but in actuality is closer to the Republican and Reagan ideal of keeping a strong America - both militarily and economically- and retaining its position of the leader of the free world. These thoughts echo throughout his book.
Those who know intimately know Chuck know that he is actually quite shy and soft-spoken, contrary to the media's portrayal of him, and that his harsh words come not from an outspokeness but from deep-rooted convictions and the pressure he feels to do the right thing.
Although he appears to many to be "basicallly a democrat" - in many cases, as in those of my peers, I find he persuades just as many democrats to become independents or Republicans in the Reagan tradition - which is quite contrary to the Bush era.
The Bush administration has been concerned with its place in history. I feel like this book will be a marker of a man who dared to speak the truth in a time plagued with remarkable deceit on the account of the government. While he is unpopular in much of the U.S. Republican constituency, historians will give him credit for years to come as one of the greatest senators of the era - in much the same vein as Harry Truman. Give 'em Hell, Hagel.
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