"The peril is not preeminently to the nation's purse; it is to its soul. The danger is not so much that we will fail to protect our interests, it is that we will betray our historic ideals . . . . . There is no assumption made here that the nation has always lived up to its deals; it did, however, always look up to them. We believe that it needs to do so again."
—from the Introduction
In The Imperial Temptation, two eminent foreign policy experts warn that America has made a Faustian bargain in its quest for the leadership of a new world order. In its attempts to address the challenges posed by new global realities, the Bush administration, so argues The Imperial Temptation, has betrayed the fundamental ideals on which this country was founded.
Criticizing the all-out military assault on Iraq as a disproportionate and inhumane response to the crisis, Tucker and Hendrickson argue that President Bush seized on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to crystallize its vision of a new world order that would reclaim America's position of world leadership. But, in choosing to wage war against Iraq when another alternative was available, the authors write, Bush made the use of force the centerpiece of his vision of world order. As a result, America has fastened on a formula that allows us to go to war with far greater precipitancy that we otherwise might while simultaneously allowing us to walk away from the ruin we create without feeling a commensurate sense of responsibility. By leaving Iraq in chaos, America has succumbed to an imperial temptation without discharging the classic duties of imperial rule.
The Imperial Temptation makes an important—and what is sure to be viewed as controversial—contribution to the national debate over the future of U.S. foreign policy and offers a revealing examination of the classic ideas underlying American diplomacy and their relation to the nation's historic purpose.
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Robert W. Tucker is Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
David C. Hendricksonis Associate Professor of Political Science at Colorado College. They have previously co-authored The Fall of the First British Empire: Origins of the War of American Independence and Empire of Liberty: The Statecraft of Thomas Jefferson.From Kirkus Reviews:
A polemic harshly critical of the Bush Administration's ``New World Order'' for the post-cold-war era. Tucker (American Foreign Policy/Johns Hopkins Univ.) and Hendrickson (Political Science/Colorado College) propose that the end of the cold war has, ironically, led the US to feel far freer to use its awesome military might than in the days of balance of power between the Soviet Union and America. The authors contend that the Soviet Union's disintegration has removed the major threat to our nation's security, and they are alarmed by what they see as the Bush Administration's eagerness to use armed force rather than diplomacy to solve world crises. Tucker and Hendrickson score Bush for having waged war against Iraq rather than continuing sanctions, and they further argue that, once the US was committed to battle, Saddam Hussein should have been ousted from power. Excoriating the notion of ``preventive war,'' the two political scientists interpret Bush's alleged bellicosity as a threat to the ``soul'' of America and the democratic ideals established by the Founding Fathers. They conclude that America needs to return to these original ideals. Tucker and Hendrickson write in an easy, cogent style rare among political scientists, but their idealism may overrun their pragmatism in applying to today's nuclear world principles elaborated in a simpler, safer time. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description NYU Press, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0876091184