The World America Made
By Robert Kagan
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780345802712, 160pp.)
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Robert Kagan, the New York Times bestselling author of Of Paradise and Power and one of the country’s most influential strategic thinkers, reaffirms the importance of United States’s global leadership in this timely and important book.
Upon its initial publication, The World America Made became one of the most talked about political books of the year, influencing Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address and shaping the thought of both the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns. In these incisive and engaging pages, Kagan responds to those who anticipate—or even long for—a post-American world order by showing what a decline in America’s influence would truly mean for the United States and the rest of the world, as the vital institutions, economies, and ideals currently supported by American power wane or disappear. As Kagan notes, it has happened before: one need only to consider the consequences of the breakdown of the Roman Empire and the collapse of the European order in World War I. This book is a powerful warning that America need not and dare not decline by committing preemptive superpower suicide.
Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist for The Washington Post. He is also the author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams, Dangerous Nation, Of Paradise and Power, and A Twilight Struggle. He served in the U.S. State Department from 1984 to 1988. He lives with his wife and two children.
“At once a robust defense of the role America plays in world affairs and a determined rejection of the ‘myth’ that America is in decline.”
“Kagan’s writing bristles with insights and ideas.”
“An extended and convincing argument against the thesis that there is anything inevitable about American decline.”
“Accessible, thought-provoking and extraordinary. . . . Robert Kagan has both the foreign policy credentials and political street cred to know from whence he speaks. . . . A book about such a grand topic as global strategy runs two risks. First is making definitive assertions in the face of enormous complexity. . . . The second is imparting too much meaning from historical events. . . . However, Mr. Kagan avoids both traps. He skillfully reasons from a wide breadth of compelling facts that from the end of World War II to today, for better (he believes) or worse, and often with great ambivalence, America has raised the living standards of the world while helping democracy grow and flourish and the democratic world should and will likely want to keep it that way.”
“The book makes the case that the nation’s decline is a myth, a reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 rather than to any genuine geopolitical shifts.”
—The New York Times
“These ideas struck a chord with a President accused of leading a great American retreat.”
“Kagan grabs the reader’s attention from page one. . . . Kagan makes a powerful point: If America were to make a serious effort to disengage in world affairs, the world quickly would devolve into a much more scary and dangerous place.”
—The Augusta Chronicle
“[Kagan] seems to care less about partisanship than about ideas, particularly his advocacy for a powerful American role in the world. . . . The virtue of Kagan’s book is that his ideas and logic are so clearly laid out that readers can see where they agree or disagree.”
—The Washington Post
“Kagan paints with a broad brush, sprinkling a memorable metaphor here, a striking simile there . . . He provides a compelling demonstration that whether it’s protecting the sea lanes vital for free trade or nudging societies toward democracy, the world stands a better chance with America in prime position than with China or Russia in the lead.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“[Marco] Rubio’s foreign-policy views have evidently been recently shaped by a reading of Robert Kagan’s The World America Made, a much-discussed refutation of the now-popular notion of American decline. As a Romney advisor who has penned bedside reading for President Barack Obama, Kagan could plausibly claim to be the most prominently cited writer in Washington right now.”
—Foreign Policy Magazine
“Intelligent, cogent, and timely.”
“Serious, scholarly . . . [These are] ideas expressed clearly and consicely.”
—David Ignatius, Washington Post Writers Group
“The foreign policy blueprint for the next Republican president.”
—Senator Marco Rubio
“Kagan grabs the reader’s attention from page one . . . He makes a powerful point: If America were to make a serious effort to disengage in world affairs, the world quickly would devolve into a much more scary and dangerous place . . . If you have time to read just one book, I suggest Kagan’s.”
—Major General Perry Smith
“Magisterial . . . It’s a small book, it’s a great book.”
“Very important . . . A wonderful book.”