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Politics Among Nations, Brief Edition 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070433069
ISBN-10: 0070433062
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 1 edition (July 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070433062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070433069
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was taught politics initially by a professor from the University of Chicago who studied under Han J. Morgenthau, who used Morgenthau's book, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace as his primary text. Later, when I taught politics, I found that this text was a bit too advanced for the calibre of beginning undergraduate students (my, how the standards, they slippeth...) but was useful for a third-year course in international relations.
This book is heavy in history and philosophy as well as a more 'pure' political science; these are not disconnected subjects, and should not be treated as such. Morgenthau was one of the giants of international thought, having trained many (directly or through texts) of the last generation of political scientists, who rarely have a neutral opinion on Morgenthau. Very much an adherent of the Real Politick, and addresses the question of framework and theory at the beginning of the text:
Morgenthau, throughout this work, strives to work against the idea that international politics in particular, and politics more generally, can be derived simply from philosophical or abstract points, and must be grounded in the imperfect and very human dealings at hand. He outlines six principles which guide this political realism:
1. There are objective laws that govern politics, rooted in human nature.
2. The main force driving international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power.
3. This key concept is universally valid and objective, but does not have the same meaning fixed once and for all.
4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action.
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Format: Paperback
Forget about the clowns on cable television news shows that are always yelling at each (no matter what their and your politics are).

Forget about Oprah, Dr. Phil, Maureen Dowd (even though she's always very sultry), Noam Chomsky, etc. Forget about Rush Limbaugh, the Christian Coalition, the lunatic professor in Colorado (whatever his name is). Most of all, forget about Tom Friedman (author/NYT columnist -- read my review on THE WORLD IS FLAT for my views on him).

Do you want to know HOW the world works in terms of international relations? Read this book.

Do you want to know WHY it works that way? Read this book.

The concepts and ideas in this book cover the fundamentals, but it doesn't just gloss over them... it covers them in detail and from all angles... and, by doing so, the reader will get a clearer and firmer understanding of current events, governmments' actions and non-actions, etc.

Why does this book continue to endure in value? Because it focuses on the fundamentals of action/non-action and the reasons "why." It is NOT about the flavor-of-the-month topic. It's a no-nonsense book and comes with serious analyses, thoughts, theories, conclusions and arguments.

I'd recommend this book to readers of all stripes, whether you're a pacifist, lunatic fringe, status quo conservative, environmentalist, obsessed with human or animal rights (or both), etc.

After you read this book, you'll never watch the news channels or read the paper the same way ever again.

The "old testament":

1- Politics Among Nations (Morgenthau)

2- On War (Clausewitz)

3- The Federalist Papers (Hamilton, Madison, Jay)

4- The Prince and The Discourses (Machiavelli)

5- The Twenty Years' Crisis (Carr)
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By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hans Morgenthau is, together with E.H.Carr, among the key 20th century thinkers who studied international relations and developed what is today called classical realism (as opposed to structural- or neo-realism - see Kenneth Waltz). Classical realism claims an ancient ancestry beginning with the History of the Peloponesian War by Thucydides, and including thinkers like Maciaveli and Clausewitz, as well as Ralf Niebur. Briefly, the proponents of this line of thinking claim that 1) states are the only actors of significance in international relations; 2) that because there is no single world government, international relations are characterized by self-help- if states wish to survive they should ever be ready for war; 3) 'power' in this sense becomes both a means (to survival) and an end in itself -- states struggle to aggrandize their power; 4) because of all this, international relations are primarily a realm of conflict, not cooperation; 5) this sorry state of affairs stems from the evil nature of man which is essentially unchangeable (see St. Augustine, City of God, for a forceful argument in this vein). Given all this, Morgenthau claims that any politician who does not take the above points seriously is acting under dangerous delusions. Because most statesmen do act in this way, he, says, reading his book will allow the reader to be able 'to look over the shoulder' of any leader and understand their decisions. Whether one agrees or not with these views, the book is indispensible for any serious student of international politics. For further interest one may wish to read both scholars who have advanced the realist tradition in international relations in new directions (see esp. Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics; Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception...Read more ›
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