El Fomentador

Alive and well in Mexico…

The Limits Of Power by Andrew J. Bacevich

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I was in San Miguel last week for a few days and a good friend lent me a new book, The Limits of Power, it is sub-titled, The End of American Exceptionalism. I have just started to read it, but just the notes on the inside of the book jacket are worth reading and thinking about. I have some ideas I will add after I finish the book, but I want to share the notes because this is important and becoming more important everyday.

Bacevich is an acclaimed historian and a former military officer, he issues “a call for a pragmatic confrontation with the nation’s problems”. The book was published in 2008.

The Limits of Power identifies a profound triple crisis facing America today: the economy, in remarkable disarray, can no longer be fixed by relying on expansion abroad; the government, transformed by an imperial presidency, is a democracy in form only; the nation’s involvment in endless wars, driven by a deep infatuation with military power, has been a catastrophe for the body politic. These pressing problems threaten us all, Republicans and Democrats. If the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach: the neglected tradition of realism.

“Andrew J. Bacevich, uniquely respected across the political spectrum, offers a historical perspective on the multiple illusions that have governed American policy since 1945. The realism he proposes includes respect for power and its limits; sensitivity to unintended consequences; aversion of claims of American exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving the use of force; and a conviction that, at the end of the day, the books will  have to balance. Only a return to such principles, Bacevich argues, can provide a common ground for dealing with America’s urgent problems.”

Although the book was published this year it serves to remind us how rapidly things can change in our world today. The book is part of The American Empire Project, and the publishers suggest that, for more information and a list of forthcoming titles, you may visit: http://www.americanempireproject.com

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Written by El Fomentador

November 23, 2008 at 5:17 am

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