From Publishers Weekly
There's a host of issues surrounding the U.S. and what many see as its empire as it pushes to confront terrorism-and this balanced collection of mostly scholarly articles addresses many of them. For the most part, the pieces are nuanced, examining subtleties in a world where the U.S. is the sole global power. There are no epiphanies, but pieces discuss such topics as how the U.S. can both confront authoritarian regimes and promote human rights, how American policy should change in order to prevent a further international backlash and whether the U.S. is doomed to fall, like previous empires. Some of the articles gathered by Bacevich (American Empire) hew to familiar arguments-a few, like journalist Charles Krauthammer, argue unabashedly for American power; others seem stuck in a pompous, crude anti-Americanism, as when John Millbank calls on the West "to abandon our global idolatrous worship of sacralized absolute sovereignty, and the formally neutral market." But these pieces are the exceptions. To the editor's credit, the essays appear to be carefully chosen, with an equal number critical and accepting of America's increasing global power. At their best, they display a measure of wit, as when one essayist writes: "Whatever its fate, America, too, will live on-for its Constitution, its movies, and for having placed the first man on the moon."
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This captivating collection addresses the most important issue facing the United States in the coming century. (Richard H. Kohn, Chair, Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, former Chief of)
Bacevich has performed a valuable service. (David Pryce-Jones)
First-rate...a most valuable collection. (Walter LaFeber)
He has done the ongoing debate about America's role in the world a great service by bringing these pieces together in a convenient package. (Virginia Quarterly Review
An outstanding introduction to the growing debate on the implications and import of US 'hyperpower.' (CHOICE
...Provides a panoramic view of the empire debate... (Concord Bridge
...This collection reflects most of the distribution curve of current opinion on the subject. (The American Conservative
...Well worth reading for…bracing arguments, pro and con, on whether or in what sense America is an empire. (First Things
The essays collected…are a curious amalgam of military hubris and cultural anxiety: they dutifully document both America's truly awesome military reach and the widespread national uncertainty about what to do with it. (The New York Review Of Books
An especially useful guide to a complex and controversial debate. (Michael Cox Royal United Services Institute Journal