Lieber, Robert J., 1941-

Power and willpower in the American future : why the United States is not destined to decline / Robert J. Lieber, Georgetown University. - Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012. - x, 180 pages ; 24 cm

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Machine generated contents note: 1. The American future: problems of primacy, policy, and purpose; 2. Domestic and global interactions: economics, energy, and American power; 3. American attitudes and institutions; 4. Threats to persistent primacy and the rise of others; 5. Stretch or 'imperial overstretch'; 6. Power and willpower in the American future.

"To argue against the widely proclaimed idea of American decline might seem a lonely task. After all, the problems are real and serious. Yet if we take a longer view, much of the discourse about decline appears exaggerated, hyperbolic and ahistorical. Why? First, because of the deep underlying strengths of the United States. These include not only size, population, demography and resources, but also the scale and importance of its economy and financial markets, its scientific research and technology, its competitiveness, its military power and its attractiveness to talented immigrants. Second, there is the weight of history and of American exceptionalism. Throughout its history, the United States has repeatedly faced and eventually overcome daunting challenges and crises. Contrary to a prevailing pessimism, there is nothing inevitable about American decline. Ultimately, the ability to avoid serious decline is less a question of material factors than of policy, leadership and political will"-- "'The United States cannot afford another decline like that which has characterized the past decade and a half.....Only self-delusion can keep us from admitting our decline to ourselves.' -- Henry A. Kissinger, 1961. In the above words, one of America's most distinguished strategic thinkers and policymakers expresses alarm at America's condition and the perils it faces. The warning seems timely, yet it was written more than half a century ago as an assessment of the Soviet threat, problems with allies and the developing world, and in frustration with what the author saw as dangerously inadequate policy and strategic choices. Henry Kissinger was by no means alone. He cited George Kennan's lament about our domestic failings with race, the cities, the education and environment of our young people, and the gap between expert knowledge and popular understanding, even while criticizing Kennan's focus on those problems to the exclusion of military and diplomatic threats"--

9781107010680 (hbk.) 9780521281270 (pbk.)


Exceptionalism--United States.
National characteristics, American.
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General.

United States--Economic conditions--2009-
United States--Social conditions--21st century.

HC106.84 / .L545 2012

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