Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy

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9780061714566: Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy
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Inspired by Machiavelli's classic The Prince, Leslie H. Gelb offers illuminating guidelines on how American power actually works and should be wielded in today's tumultuous world. Writing with the perspective of four decades of extraordinary access and influence in government, think tanks, and journalism, Gelb provides an incisive look at the major U.S. foreign-policy triumphs and tragedies of the past half century, and offers practical rules on how to effectively exercise power today. Power Rules is an impassioned challenge to both liberals and conservatives and a plea to reclaim the true meaning of power and the essential role of common sense in solving global problems.

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About the Author:

Leslie H. Gelb is President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former columnist at The New York Times, where he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism. Gelb has worked as a senior official in the State and Defense departments. He lives in New York City.

Review:

“A smart and lively new book.” (Fareed Zakaria, The Washington Post)

“Few Americans know the inner world of American foreign policy—its feuds, follies, and fashions—as well as Leslie H. Gelb. . . . Power Rules builds on that lifetime of experience with power and is a witty and acerbic primer.” (Michael Ignatieff, The New York Times)

“Power Rules provides a much-needed antidote to the ideological fevers that have ravaged American statecraft in recent years. Leslie Gelb’s reflections on power, its effective use, and its limitations are shrewd, trenchant, and refreshingly devoid of either cant or partisanship.” (Andrew Bacevich)

“Les Gelb, one of America’s most distinguished practitioner-observers of foreign policy, brilliantly explains how a series of administrations weakened our nation’s security, and shows how we can reverse this trend. . . . Power Rules is an indispensable book for the new era.” (Richard Holbrooke)

“Lively. . . . Power Rules is worth the read. . . . Gelb’s career embodies big and powerful Washington, with all its turf battles, crises, and war stories.” (The Washington Post)

“Les Gelb tells it like it is: making US foreign policy and using American power are common sense, not rocket science. Incisive and thoroughly compelling, Power Rules is rich in colorful stories as well as in sound advice for our president and our people.” (Brent Scowcroft)

“Leslie Gelb has as much experience in foreign policy as anyone alive. Unlike most writers in this field, he isn’t afraid to use plain language and say what he means. And he doesn’t mind making powerful enemies.” (George Packer)

“This book is a must-read not just for President Obama, but for anyone who wants to understand how the new administration can improve its odds of strategic success.” (Jacob Weisberg)

“An excellent primer for those seeking a common-sense approach to foreign policy. . . . Gelb’s informative and well-crafted analysis is filled with rules for wielding power and goals worth striving for globally.” (The Boston Globe)

“Fluent, well-timed, provocative. . . . Gelb’s ruminations are welcome and stimulating. . . . Filled with gritty, shrewd, specific advice on foreign policy ends and means that will be especially useful for a new president and secretary of state without deep experience dealing with the world.” (Michael Beschloss, The New York Times Book Review)

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9780061714542: Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy

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