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Power and willpower in the American future :…
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Power and willpower in the American future : why the United States is not…

by Robert J. Lieber

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052128127X, Paperback)

To argue against the widely proclaimed idea of American decline, as this book does, might seem a lonely task. After all, the problems are real and serious. Yet if we take a longer view, much of the discourse about decline appears exaggerated, hyperbolic, and ahistorical. Why? First, because of the deep underlying strengths of the United States. These include not only size, population, demography, and resources, but also the scale and importance of its economy and financial markets, its scientific research and technology, its competitiveness, its military power, and its attractiveness to talented immigrants. Second, there is the weight of history and of American exceptionalism. Throughout its history, the United States has repeatedly faced and eventually overcome daunting challenges and crises. Contrary to a prevailing pessimism, there is nothing inevitable about American decline. Flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity for course correction provide the United States with a unique resilience that has proved invaluable in the past and will do so in the future. Ultimately, the ability to avoid serious decline is less a question of material factors than of policy, leadership, and political will.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:29:13 -0400)

"To argue against the widely proclaimed idea of American decline might seem a lonely task. After all, the problems are real and serious. Yet if we take a longer view, much of the discourse about decline appears exaggerated, hyperbolic and ahistorical. Why? First, because of the deep underlying strengths of the United States. These include not only size, population, demography and resources, but also the scale and importance of its economy and financial markets, its scientific research and technology, its competitiveness, its military power and its attractiveness to talented immigrants. Second, there is the weight of history and of American exceptionalism. Throughout its history, the United States has repeatedly faced and eventually overcome daunting challenges and crises. Contrary to a prevailing pessimism, there is nothing inevitable about American decline. Ultimately, the ability to avoid serious decline is less a question of material factors than of policy, leadership and political will"--"'The United States cannot afford another decline like that which has characterized the past decade and a half.....Only self-delusion can keep us from admitting our decline to ourselves.' -- Henry A. Kissinger, 1961. In the above words, one of America's most distinguished strategic thinkers and policymakers expresses alarm at America's condition and the perils it faces. The warning seems timely, yet it was written more than half a century ago as an assessment of the Soviet threat, problems with allies and the developing world, and in frustration with what the author saw as dangerously inadequate policy and strategic choices. Henry Kissinger was by no means alone. He cited George Kennan's lament about our domestic failings with race, the cities, the education and environment of our young people, and the gap between expert knowledge and popular understanding, even while criticizing Kennan's focus on those problems to the exclusion of military and diplomatic threats"--… (more)

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