Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq

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9780742536005: Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq
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Renowned for his compassionate and balanced thinking on international affairs, Stanley Hoffmann reflects here on the proper place of the United States in a world it has defined almost exclusively by 9/11, the war on terrorism, and the invasion of Iraq. His analysis of the latter focuses on the misconceptions, ignorance, and incompetence of the Bush administration and shows how damaging this "war of choice" has been for America's reputation in the world. Hoffmann's perspective is uniquely informed by his place as a true global citizen-a public intellectual with one foot in Europe, the other in America. In this brilliant essay, he considers point by point the events and actions that have led America down the path of imperialism, becoming a power at once arrogant, victorious, and unilateral. Tracing the significance of 9/11 in the short term and over the long course of American history, Hoffmann explains the contradictions and the consequences for international order―and disorder.

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About the Author:

Stanley Hoffmann (1928–2015) was the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. His books include World Disorders (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Gulliver Unbound (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), and Chaos and Violence (Rowman & Littlefield 2006).

Frédéric Bozo is professor of contemporary history at the University of Nantes and research associate at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales.

Review:

Stanley Hoffmann is America's wisest and most seasoned observer of transatlantic events. In Gulliver Unbound he delivers indispensable commentary on the hubris of America's imperial adventurism, the flaws in its approach to combating terrorism, and the future of the European-American relationship. (Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize and the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award)

Gulliver Unbound can be read in one sitting and contains a great deal of wisdom, not least of which is the observation, 'Iraq has become a trap for the Americans and a godsend for terrorists.' (Chalmers Johnson The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Throughout his distinguished career, Hoffmann has remained intellectually and personally bound to both America and France. In this engaging little book, he brings his accumulated wisdom and cosmopolitan sensibilities to bear on the current crisis in U.S.-European relations.... Full of insights―and worries. (G. John Ikenberry, Princeton University Foreign Affairs)

"A witheringly accurate critique of the hubris and folly of the Bush administration. Hoffmann is generally dead on target in his condemnation of the Bush administration, the conceptual idiocy of the 'war on terror,' and the wider chauvinism, ignorance, and Francophobia of the U.S. establishment and media. (Anatol Lieven American Prospect)

This little book, conceived and presented largely as a series of conversations between Hoffmann and a French former student, does not disappoint. Stanley Hoffmann's is a powerful and liberal voice in a post-September 11 American that has too often seemed bereft of such voices. (Political Science Quarterly)

Gulliver Unbound is an engrossing, critical, and provocative account of the factors that led the U.S. on the path of imperial adventurism particularly following 9/11, how this impacted U.S. relations with its NATO allies and with the rest of the world, and how it led to intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. In conclusion, this is a splendid little book. It reflects the author's deep insight, erudition, and concern for humanity and for a sane international system. It is highly recommended for courses in international relations, comparative politics, and Middle East politics. (International Journal on World Peace)

Americans who wish to halt the drift toward imperialism should read this book. (Robert O. Keohane, Duke University)

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