From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This cogent first book from the executive editor of the New Republic
forcefully argues that 50 years of American conservatism have undermined U.S. security and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Scoblic charts the course of American conservatism, from its development by William F. Buckley Jr. through the disastrous Cold War to Bush's failure to safeguard the United States after 9/11: in stark, often frightening detail, Scoblic examines how Bush embraced regime change as a means of fighting evil and neglected to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, failed to prevent North Korea from reprocessing plutonium, rebuffed requests for negotiations from an Iranian regime that was, in 2003, willing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency, repeatedly ignored U.S. intelligence and pursued the war in Iraq. Scoblic illustrates how and why conservatism shaped the current administration and explains how it guided Bush's good vs. evil morality. This is an important book, well researched and well reasoned in its assessment of conservatism and mandatory reading for anyone concerned with America's security and future. (May)
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The threat of nuclear attack is too critical and present to be held prisoner to political ideology, asserts Scoblic, executive editor of the New Republic. Yet the Bush administration’s belief in the moral virtue of the U.S. and the contrasting evil of its geopolitical enemies has distorted foreign policy, leading to a unilateral war on Iraq and shunning diplomatic approaches to the nuclear threats of Iran and North Korea. Scoblic traces the administration’s foreign policy to a long tradition of an “us versus them” perspective on the world, based on American exceptionalism rooted in the founding of the nation. In the first half of his book, Scoblic analyzes that history, tracing conservative ideology espoused by William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan and how it has evolved into the Bush administration. In the second half, Scoblic explores the consequences of the unilateral worldview that has heightened the need for diplomacy in the post-9/11 world. Scoblic’s analysis is sweeping in scope and is both detailed and accessible in explaining the complexities of the nuclear threat and foreign policy. --Vanessa Bush