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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Bacevich’s dense text may not be ideal for an “Andrew Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why those of both the left and right listen to him.”—Bill Moyers. “Andrew Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why those of both the left and right listen to him.”—Bill Moyers An immediate. Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism ( New York: Metropolitan Books, ), pp., $ Andrew Bacevich’s latest .

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That resolve found expression in the Bush administration’s with- us- or- against- us rhetoric, in its disdain for the United Nations and traditional American allies, in its contempt for international law, and above all in its embrace of preventive war. Bacevich writes with a passionate eloquence and moral urgency that makes this book absolutely compelling.

In our own day, realism and humility have proven in short supply. After all, these small events left unaltered what many took to be the defining reality of the contemporary era: This conviction finds expression in a determination to remake the world in what we imagine to be America’s image. He is the author of The New American Militarismamong other books.

They reflect the accumulated detritus of freedom, the by- products of our frantic pursuit of life, amdrew, and happiness.


Robert HeinemanAlfred University. He vigorously opposes the argument that high-ranking military commanders should be given more latitude in the field.

For him, the upshot is that the soldiers are superbly trained and courageous, but their effectiveness has been severely weakened by the environment created by bumbling leaders, both political and military. America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. In came the main event, an open- ended global war on terror, soon known in some quarters as the “Long War.

The onus of responsibility falls squarely on citizens. The connection between these two tendencies is a causal one. Reliance on government power to impose U.

The institution nominally referred to as the Department of Defense didn’t actually do defense; it specialized in power projection.

He asserts emphatically that the logical culmination of this theoretical school was the doctrine of preventive limirs that rationalized the invasion of Iraq, an action that in the long run threatens both the domestic and the international integrity of the United States. The Limits of Power. Niebuhr speaks to us from the past, offering truths of enormous relevance to the present.

The Limits of Power

He is the recipient of a Lannan award and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Bacevich charges that the overwhelming thrust toward military solutions and imperial ambitions undercuts the very successes these people have attained. Humility imposes an obligation of a different sort. Yet especially since the s, the reinterpretation of freedom has had a transformative impact on our society and culture.


What costs does the exercise of freedom impose? The collective capacity of our domestic political economy to satisfy those appetites has not kept pace with demand. Of perhaps even greater difficulty, the combination of economic, political, and military crisis summons Americans to reexamine exactly what freedom entails.

In many respects, Americans are freer today than ever before, anddew more citizens than ever before enjoying unencumbered access to the promise of American life. Soldiers cannot accomplish these tasks, nor should we expect politicians to do so. Although critics of U.

These are fundamental questions, which cannot be dismissed with a rhetorical wave of the hand. In Andrew Bacevich, andreww and moral vision meet. Bush and members of his administration outlined a campaign against terror that they suggested might last decades, if not longer. A political elite preoccupied with the governance of empire paid little attention to protecting the United States itself.

The Limits of Power by Andrew Bacevich | American Empire Project

In our pursuit of freedom, we have accrued obligations and piled up debts that we are powre hard- pressed to meet. The changes have been both qualitative and quantitative. In an earlier age, Americans saw empire as the antithesis of freedom.