What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush (Hardback)Hal Brands (author)
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Grand strategy is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring-and so elusive-to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics. At a time when "grand strategy" is very much in vogue, Brands critically appraises just how feasible that endeavor really is.
Brands takes a historical approach to this subject, examining how four presidential administrations, from that of Harry S. Truman to that of George W. Bush, sought to "do" grand strategy at key inflection points in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy. As examples ranging from the early Cold War to the Reagan years to the War on Terror demonstrate, grand strategy can be an immensely rewarding undertaking-but also one that is full of potential pitfalls on the long road between conception and implementation. Brands concludes by offering valuable suggestions for how American leaders might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the years to come.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 23 mm
"This remarkable book catapults Brands into the foremost ranks of a new generation of U.S. strategic thinkers. Brands brilliantly combines an analysis of the grand strategies of selected presidents (Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush) with an investigation into the nature and value of the very concept of grand strategy. Throughout, his analysis is evenhanded and insightful.... Future presidential administrations would do well to embrace this vision at a time when the United States faces limited resources and a bewildering array of challenges. On the evidence of this closely reasoned book, Brands will have much to contribute to the strategic debates that lie ahead."-- Walter Russell Mead * Foreign Affairs *
"For a young academic historian, Brands has an unusually subtle and accurate sense of the challenges that US policymakers face in implementing grand strategies.... Brands's masterful work also serves as a reminder that the legacies of the more recent and controversial presidential foreign policies will need to be evaluated by subsequent generations not emotionally attached to the events themselves."-- Russel Crandall * Survival: Global Politics & Strategy *
"This is a solid piece of scholarship that should be of great value in modern American history classes, foreign policy surveys, and course work in international relations."-- Brooks Flippen * H-Net Reviews *