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Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 5, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Brilliantly provocative.... Brzezinski covers a great deal of ground with dispatch and verve.... His book is never less than exciting." ---The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Zbigniew Brzezinski served as national security adviser to President Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Reader of over 400 audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of "Golden Voices." --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465002528
  • ASIN: B0013TMN2U
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,059,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David W. Straight on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A great book by the finest foreign policy thinker of the past 100 years.

Brzezinski analyzes the foreign policy of the last three presidents

(Bush I, Clinton, Bush II) and provides wonderful insights and coherent

criticism--good and bad--of each. The most relevant material is about

the current situation, but understanding the foreign policy of Bush I

and Clinton is essential if one wants to understand what is happening now.

The book's title "Second Chance" refers to what is needed after 2008 to

try to reestablish the global leadership of the United States.

You are not going to get simplistic answers here--"Us versus Them", "Good

versus Evil", "Our enemies hate freedom". Brzezinski shows that many

of the current views--"Arabs respect force above all else", "Democracy

can be imposed from outside", and the like have no basis in reality.

He also warns of the growing closeness between Russia and China, and

he is concerned that China will become the dominant player in the Middle

East, with a growing market for oil, a willingness to provide weapons,

and the absence of a patronizing attitude. The world is a very complex

place, and there are no easy answers. This is definitely not a feel-good

book. As Brzezinski says, we have created a disaster which with very

careful work can eventually be remedied--but there will be no third

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Format: Hardcover
Brzezinski is incomparably qualified to explain and comment on foreign affairs in the last two decades, given his high-level academic and experiential backgrounds, and numerous current contacts. "Second Chance" begins by pointing out that the U.S., having emerged from the Cold War as the unquestioned victor, enjoyed an unprecedented degree of international dominance. Unfortunately, the subsequent three presidents squandered a great deal of its power and prestige - especially Bush II. Brzezinski's intent is to lay out all the problems in the hope that America does better when it gets a second chance after the '08 elections.

Before getting into the details, however, Brzezinski also points out that the collapse of the Soviet was NOT the work of a single person (Ronald Reagan), but the consequence of a 40-year bipartisan effort, beginning with Harry Truman, and also aided by Lech Walesa (defied communism for a decade and compelled compromises that ended communist monopoly on power and precipitated uprisings in Czechoslovakia and Hungary), Pope John Paul II (revived spiritual viability), and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Bush I, according to Brzezinski, did a good (B) job overall - his main achievements were dealing positively with Gorbachev and the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, and then building an impressive coalition to handle Hussein. His two criticisms are that Bush could have done more to resolve the Israeli-Palestine rift (though he did forcefully confront Israel's push to expand settlements), and that Bush I left the Iraq problem unresolved.

Clinton, according to "Second Chance" worked well to move former USSR warheads back into the new Russia, preventing proliferation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Zbigniew Brezezinski speaks people listen. And when he writes people listen with added alacrity. This book is terrific. Fairness in mind, Brezezinski forces open many long-held thoughts...the first President Bush had a number of merits under his cap, President Clinton meant well, but was otherwise disengaged and the current president stands where he should fall...a total loss, not only to our country but to the rest of the world at large.

While it is fascinating to watch the author mow through parts of the past fifteen years...years he correctly assumes as a nano-second in history...he pulls no punches with regard to our last three presidents. "Second Chance" is a critical look at these past few years and the author rightly comes down with a scorecard, saving his best for last...George W. Bush.

It's hard to believe, as Brzezinski points out, how far we've fallen during Bush's presidency. Could the Iraq war be the biggest policy blunder in American history? He seems to think so as echoed by one he sizes up as astute in the book...Madeleine Albright.

"Second Chance" is a sober and hard-hitting look at today's America. I highly recommend it for its dead-on honesty written by one whose integrity is without question.
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Format: Hardcover
I happen to hear this guy on Charlie Rose the other night and went out and bought his book. The book isnt as interesting as he is in an interview live but its well worth the read.

His analysis of the past three administrations is superb. It is balanced and I think offers great insight into the hits and misses of our leaders. He goes on to explain his views on the world post Russia and our missed opportunites. His close of post 2008 I would love to hear discussed by him and others.

An important book for this country. Get it and read it and act.
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