Prophetic indictment of the house of cards and hubris that is American exceptionalism. Unflinching and stunningly articulate analysis of the structural flaws in the dominant American narrative. Oct 10, Ed rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to understand How we, the U. Recommended to Ed by: PBS Shelves: essays-politics-science-religion , reviewed , non-fiction Written by a true conservative, ex-military officer and current Boston University professor, this book concisely explains how the actions of citizens, government and the military over the last 45 years have pushed the U. S into the position it finds itself in today. In the Chapter titled "The Crisis of Profligacy", Bacevich skewers Americans for surrendering their true freedom for the illusory freedom of materialism.
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Gotilar Bacevich writes in a way that makes the insights in this book approachable and unfortunately, plausible to those who pay attention to current national and world politics. Bacevich blames every president since LBJ for the sorry state of affairs, but saves most of his ire for Ronald Reagan and his successors, Bill Clinton, and both Bushes, for the continuation of this time bomb lifestyle.
S into the position it finds itself in today. Skip to main content. It ilmits given rise to a power elite in Washington that is more interested in protecting its turf than serving the American people. During his tenure as secretary of state in the Hoover administration, Stimson pursued a bwcevich policy toward Japan that helped drive that country into the arms of the Axis. Americans want more and more, and are willing to allow their government to do anything that perpetuates accumulation.
This leads to favoring consumption over production cheap importsand increasing debt. He discusses the enduring nature of war and its cruel realities, that confound not only yhe who we choose to govern us but also the Generals who are charged with war operations.
He starts his book with a quote from the bible the Book of Second Kings, chapter 20, verse 1: The federal government did not shrink. Mises Review All in all, a great read! In making the comparison he claimed that Grant and Sherman were great generals.
The second liits wandered, from dislike of Douglas Feith, criticism of high-ranking generals, discussion of the all-volunteer army, etc. He blames incompetent generals. Military power is used much too often. The general population definitely bears some responsibility for the actions of its government, but Bacevich does not acknowledge the role that corporations and powerful private interests play in forming the system.
This idea has become something of legends through global politics. Bacevich Mises Institute I found this book very interesting. Prophetic indictment of the house of cards and hubris that is American exceptionalism.
In suggesting otherwise, Bacevich unwisely follows the interpretation of the warhawk Robert Kagan. He is the author of The New American Militarismamong other books. Bacevich For him, limirs upshot is that the soldiers are superbly trained and limjts, but their effectiveness has been severely weakened by the environment created by bumbling leaders, both political and military.
That the actions of everyday Americans might pose a comparable threat amounted to rank heresy. As consumerism intensified, however, our appetites outstripped our means, which has led to the point where we are the worlds largest debtor and run astronomic trade deficits — totally unsustainable. For the United States, the pursuit of freedom, as limite in an age of consumerism, has induced a condition of dependence: Over the past half century the American economy has shifted from being a producer with a surplus to being a deficit-ridden consumer, ilmits on others.
Oxford University Press,he focused on the reconstitution of the military in American life, especially its reinvigorated role in the conduct of foreign policy bavevich the Vietnam War, and he concluded that the military has integrated itself so successfully into official U.
Open Preview See a Problem? He was seen as talking down to a lot of Americans. Somehow we must accept that there are limits, limits to our power, to our financial strength and limits to seeing Americans as exceptional. Truman and that during this time power has become increasingly concentrated in the executive branch.
Bush was just completing his presidency. Bacevich points out that the price of our excessive use of oil is undervalued. This praise for Stimson goes altogether hte far. I especially remember him saying that our quality of generals is very low compared to ones we have had in the past.
Reagan, on the other hand, was essentially Mr. American Foreign Policy and the Western Hemisphere sincethat delves deeply into that continuity. Related Posts
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
Bacevich thinks our political system is busted. To accommodate this hunger, pandering politicians have created an informal empire of supply, maintaining it through constant brush-fire wars. Yet the foreign-policy apparatus meant to manage that empire has grown hideously bloated and has led the nation into one disaster after another. In the dog days of the George W. The nation does seem to be in serious trouble. Figuring out how it got that way is important, and a root-and-branch rethink may be necessary to set things right.
The Limits of Power
Moogugul The American foreign-policy elite has indeed sought control of foreign ,imits, but this reflects its own quest for power and profit rather than an attempt to fulfill the demands of the rapacious consumer. He remains ominously pessimistic that any elected leader can change the current course of U. The Limits of Power. America, favored by its geographical position, could avoid involvement in European power politics.
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