Cover image for The imperial tense : prospects and problems of American empire
The imperial tense : prospects and problems of American empire
Bacevich, Andrew J.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiv, 271 pages; 22 cm
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E902 .I57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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What is the nature and scope of the American empire, and what are its prospects and challenges? In this timely and thought-provoking collection, leading scholars and observers consider the new reality of American power in the world and what consequences it may bring at home and abroad. First-rate...a most valuable collection. --Walter LaFeber

Author Notes

Andrew Bacevich was born in Normal Illinois. He was a graduate of West Point in 1969 and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He later held posts in Germany and the Persian Gulf up until his retirement from service in the early 1990's. He has a PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University and has taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998 and becoming Professor of International Relations. He has been a critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. He wrote several books including American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy and Washington Rules.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

There's a host of issues surrounding the U.S. and what many see as its empire as it pushes to confront terrorism-and this balanced collection of mostly scholarly articles addresses many of them. For the most part, the pieces are nuanced, examining subtleties in a world where the U.S. is the sole global power. There are no epiphanies, but pieces discuss such topics as how the U.S. can both confront authoritarian regimes and promote human rights, how American policy should change in order to prevent a further international backlash and whether the U.S. is doomed to fall, like previous empires. Some of the articles gathered by Bacevich (American Empire) hew to familiar arguments-a few, like journalist Charles Krauthammer, argue unabashedly for American power; others seem stuck in a pompous, crude anti-Americanism, as when John Millbank calls on the West "to abandon our global idolatrous worship of sacralized absolute sovereignty, and the formally neutral market." But these pieces are the exceptions. To the editor's credit, the essays appear to be carefully chosen, with an equal number critical and accepting of America's increasing global power. At their best, they display a measure of wit, as when one essayist writes: "Whatever its fate, America, too, will live on-for its Constitution, its movies, and for having placed the first man on the moon." (Sept. 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

The impact of the September 11th attacks on the US is the starting point for Bacevich's useful, timely, and outstanding edited volume. However, the larger issues of the preeminence of the US in world affairs and its immense power relative to other nations are the real subjects of the contributions. The selections are eclectic--contributors range from scholars, journalists, Americans, foreign commentators, and from the political left, right, and center. Bacevich provides an excellent overview to the key issues--US power, US unilateral action, the staying power of US preponderance, the differences and similarities between the US and past "empires," the post-September 11th world order, as well as the need for and complexities of US leadership in world affairs. An excerpt from the US National Security Strategy of 2002 begins the selections, and each subsequent chapter can be viewed as a commentary on the meaning of that strategy and its implementation. Taken together, the contributions present an outstanding introduction to the growing debate on the implications and import of US "hyperpower" after the Cold War and in the new context of terrorism threats. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduate collections and above. W. W. Newmann Virginia Commonwealth University

Table of Contents

George W. BushDavid RieffDeepak LalCharles KrauthammerDavid NorthPeter BenderAndrew J. BacevichJedediah PurdyDavid MarquandJames ChaceMartin WalkerVictor Davis HansonJohn MilbankStanley HoffmannG. John IkenberryCharles S. MaierStephen Peter RosenWendell BerryGabriel AshJames Kurth
Introductionp. ix
I. Back to an Imperial Future?
America's Responsibility, America's Missionp. 5
Liberal Imperialismp. 10
In Defense of Empiresp. 29
The Unipolar Erap. 47
America's Drive for World Dominationp. 66
II. The Nature of American Empire
The New Romep. 81
New Rome, New Jerusalemp. 93
Universal Nationp. 102
Playground Bullyp. 111
In Search of Absolute Securityp. 119
An Empire Unlike Any Otherp. 134
What Empire?p. 146
III. Imperial Strategies
Sovereignty, Empire, Capital, and Terrorp. 159
Sheriff and Missionaryp. 172
Imperial Ambitionsp. 183
Imperial Limitsp. 202
Imperial Choicesp. 211
IV. Imperial Prospects
A Citizen's Responsep. 229
The Empire's Coming Crisisp. 238
Who Will Do the Dirty Work?p. 245
Indexp. 261