In this long awaited successor to his #1 national bestseller The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of Cold War Vietnam still hangs over American foreign policy, and how domestic politics have determined our role as a world power.
Halberstam brilliantly evokes the internecine conflicts, the untrammeled egos, and the struggles for dominance among the key figures in the White House, the State department, and the military. He shows how the Vietnam war has shaped American politics and policy makers. Perhaps most notable is what happened under Clinton when, for the first time in fifty years, a president placed domestic issues over foreign policy.
With his uncanny ability to find the real story behind the headlines, Halberstam shows how current events in the Balkans and Somalia act as a fascinating mirror to American politics and foreign policy Sweeping in scope and impressive in its depth, War in a Time of Peace provides fascinating portraits of Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Kissinger, James Baker, Dick Cheney, Madeleine Albright, and others to reveal a stunning view of modern political America.
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of 17 books, David Halberstam has a gift for bringing current events alive and putting them into historical perspective in an engaging way. In many respects, War in a Time of Peace serves as a sequel to his classic The Best and the Brightest in its examination of how the lessons of Vietnam have influenced American foreign policy in the post-Cold War era. Beginning with the Persian Gulf War, Halberstam discusses the political shift in emphasis from foreign to domestic issues that ushered in the first Clinton administration. Despite the fact that Clinton, along with much of the country, preferred to focus on the home front, the U.S. nonetheless found itself drawn into conflicts in Haiti, Somalia, and the Balkans--events that reflected American discomfort with the use of its military forces abroad while at the same time acknowledging that much of the world is dependent upon the U.S. for both guidance and support. The book also highlights the many nonpolitical factors that have influenced these political changes, including a generational shift in national leadership, the modern media's emphasis on entertainment over foreign news, a leap in military technology, and American economic prosperity that has rendered foreign policy largely irrelevant to many citizens.
Halberstam is a master at presenting well-rounded portraits and telling anecdotes of the personalities that have created U.S. policy, casting new light on well-known figures such as Clinton, Colin Powell, and George H.W. Bush, as well as supporting players such as Anthony Lake, Richard Holbrooke, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, General Wesley Clark, Al Gore, and many other influential American leaders of the past decade. Having covered many aspects of American history and foreign policy since the early 1960s, Halberstam is uniquely qualified to report on an era in which the U.S., and the world, has changed so dramatically. --Shawn CarkonenAbout the Author:
David Halberstam is one of America's most distinguished journalists and historians. He graduated from Harvard in 1955, took his first job on the smallest daily in Mississippi, and then covered the early Civil Rights years for the Nashville Tennessean. He joined the New York Times in 1960, went overseas almost immediately, first to the Congo, and then to Vietnam. His early pessimistic dispatches from Vietnam won him the Pulitzer in 1964 at the age of 30. His last 12 books, starting with The Best and the Brightest, and including The Powers That Be, The Reckoning, and The Fifties, have all been national bestsellers.
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