[February 27, 2015] Reading books in the winter months is much easier than when the warmth of sunshine is a distraction. But reading a book electronically is not and will never be the same for me. I don’t have a Kindle reader but I do have the Kindle App for my iPad and use it regularly for those books I’m unsure whether a hardcopy should occupy my bookshelf. Such is the reviewed book today by Bret Stephens, a foreign-affairs columnist.
America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, Bret Stephens, 2014.
This is an excellent book that lays out an argument that the increasing isolationist de facto policy of the United States is a serious problem for both America and the world. Many will refuse to read the book – yet criticize it – simply because the title belies his argument and they will see the arguments as “conservative” and therefore not credible. The author tells us in layman’s terms, how American allies no longer trust our word and have lost their confidence in the U.S. to stand with them when the going gets tough. Stephens also writes that such an isolationist policy has allowed evil to grow and that it will eventually haunt is in the future. He weaves a cautionary tale that America is not just in retreat but in decline also; militarily, socially, and politically. He writes that, “Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Eden – alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor evil – will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium.” Of course he doesn’t have all the answers but gives us a few ideas that he (any many others) thinks can help reverse the trend. He gives us what can be called the Broken Windows Theory of foreign policy. Recommended for your bookshelf.
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