THE SUPERPOWER MYTH: The Use and Misuse of American Might

Nancy E. Soderberg, Author ; foreword by Bill Clinton. Wiley $27.95 (404p) ISBN 978-0-471-65683-8

A former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and Clinton foreign policy adviser, Soderberg offers this cogent study of the unilateralism that she believes has taken over American foreign policy and military intervention. The argument that ignoring U.S. allies (and even neutrals) interferes with the administration's own stated goals of peace and increased democracy is familiar, but Soderberg's deep knowledge of the mechanics of diplomacy, as well as of the players and issues, allows her to assess recent moves in depth: the book carries more than 1,150 footnotes. Along the way, we get a defense of Clinton's actions toward bin Laden (and other Clintonian policies) and various swipes at neoconservatives and neoconservative doctrine). Some readers will feel that Soderberg's rehashing of interventions in Somalia and the Balkans do not argue for multilateralism as a guarantee of improved politicomilitary outcomes. And the negative views of the "New Europe" on the aspirations of the Franco-German-Russian axis are not much taken into account—though everything from the Oslo accords to troubles in Haiti is. But as a file from the opposition on the current administration's tactics, this is a satisfying document. Agent, Andrew Stuart . (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-470-35851-1
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-471-78964-2
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