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The Limits of Power

American Empire Project - The End of American Exceptionalism

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


From an acclaimed conservative historian and former military officer, a bracing call for a pragmatic confrontation with the nation's problems

The Limits of Power identifies a profound triple crisis facing America: the economy, in remarkable disarray, can no longer be fixed by relying on expansion abroad; the government, transformed by an imperial presidency, is a democracy in form only; U.S. involvement in endless wars, driven by a deep infatuation with military power, has been a catastrophe for the body politic. These pressing problems threaten all of us, Republicans and Democrats. If the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach: the neglected tradition of realism.

Andrew J. Bacevich, uniquely respected across the political spectrum, offers a historical perspective on the illusions that have governed American policy since 1945. The realism he proposes includes respect for power and its limits; sensitivity to unintended consequences; aversion to claims of exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving force; and a conviction that the books will have to balance. Only a return to such principles, Bacevich argues, can provide common ground for fixing America's urgent problems before the damage becomes irreparable.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 27, 2008 – Bacevich's dense text may not be ideal for an audiobook. In this critical exploration of American cultural and political breakdown in the global state of affairs, Bacevich's succinctness works great in text format but may be detrimental to the listener, who must tune into every sentence or risk losing the larger meaning. His sharp criticism for American decay, in part as a result of winning the Cold War (or maybe not losing is a better way to frame it), represents both sides of the political aisle specific examples. Eric Conger's narration proves challenging to the listener; his individual sentences are easy to follow, but he fails to provide a larger narrative emphasis, which can make Bacevich's analytical prose that much harder to follow. A Metropolitan Books hardcover (Reviews, June 16).

Customer Reviews

The best of its kind

Some time ago I made a decision only to read things that I can't put away. This is one of those reads. Crisp, intelligent, insightful and morosely real.

The Limits of Power
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Political Science
  • Published: Aug 05, 2008
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: American Empire Project
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings