Cover image for Breaking the real axis of evil : how to oust the world's last dictators by 2025
Breaking the real axis of evil : how to oust the world's last dictators by 2025
Palmer, Mark, 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, [2003]

Physical Description:
xx, 348 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
Maps on lining papers.
1. The real axis of evil -- 2. Ousting the last forty-five -- 3. Communities of democracies and democrats -- 4. Opening closed societies -- 5. Democracy development plans and action programs -- 6. Embassies as freedom houses, ambassadors as freedom fighers -- 7. The use of nonviolent force -- 8. The forty-five least wanted -- 9. Out by 2025.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
JC495 .P34 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In Breaking the Real Axis of Evil, ambassador Mark Palmer has the gumption to argue what diplomats and political leaders dare not speak: that global peace will not be achieved until democracies replace the world's remaining dictatorships. We know that these dictators are at the root of terrorism and war. Under their stony gaze, millions have gone to their deaths, a great tidal wave of refugees has swept across the planet, and nations have been driven into poverty, famine, and despair. Drawing on over 25 years of extensive diplomatic experience, Ambassador Palmer asks us to embrace a bold vision of a world made safe by democracy. This is the story of the last 46 dictators, the strategy and tactics to oust them, and the need to empower the people of every nation to control their own destinies.

Author Notes

Mark Palmer, described by the New York Times as "the most active Western booster for economic and political liberalization," has an extensive record of government service, including four years as ambassador to Hungary, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Soviet Relations, and speech writer for three presidents and six secretaries of state, including chief speech writer for Henry Kissinger. One of the first venture capitalists into central and eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he has founded independent national television stations in six countries. Ambassador Palmer is active in promoting democracy, including as Vice Chairman of Freedom House, America's oldest human rights organization. He resides in Washington, DC.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The only problem with President Bush's axis of evil label is that it doesn't extend far enough, argues Palmer, in this primer to promoting democracy around the world. Palmer outlines an arc of dictators, running west from North Korea to China, Syria and Algeria and then south to Angola. Palmer (who accepts a tripartite division of the world into free, partly free and not free countries) has little stomach for either diplomatic efforts in the name of realpolitik, which he believes pacifies dictators, or widespread boycotts, which he believes punish entire nations for the misdeeds of a few in government. Palmer, the U.S. ambassador to Hungary when communism collapsed more than a decade ago, builds on his experiences there to provide a list of what government, diplomats, nongovernmental organizations and the media can do to unseat dictators. He supports a broad-based approach, including a corporate fund to supply prodemocracy groups, a U.N. center to promote democracy, and a focus on the Middle East and China. He's also not shy about promoting U.S. military involvement, both covert and otherwise, if necessary. But Palmer avoids the vexing issues, such as whether U.S. involvement has always been wielded judiciously and why so much of the world resents American power. As a result, while action-oriented American patriots will find a lot to like in this book, others-no matter what their political stripe-may find it simplistic. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A former American ambassador to Hungary, Palmer is a member of the board of the nonpartisan Freedom House, which works for nonviolent political change. Here he argues that the promotion of democracy should be the top national security priority. Businesses should unite to exercise their economic power, repressed populations should be educated about the advantages of democracy, dictatorships should be outlawed and tyrants arrested and tried in international courts, and ambassadors should use their embassies as centers to push for freedom. Thus, the people would be the ones to bring about internal change. Palmer discusses 45 countries and recommends programs that would force their dictators out of power. Some readers will view these programs as unrealistically fanciful or as another means of spreading capitalist globalization and American imperialism. Certainly, their success would depend on the particular situation, as even Palmer recognizes. Nevertheless, this work offers a welcome alternative to some of the mailed-fist policies of today. Suitable for all libraries.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.