Power, Wealth and Wisdom

Is the United States really as strong and wise, and "Old Europe" as weak and wooly-headed, as many American foreign policy pundits and practitioners think? Another way to read Transatlantic realities.

Issue: Summer 2003

In so self-important a field as international relations, it is rare to come across an exuberant page-turner of high quality. Robert Kagan's Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order is such a book--short and very readable, with a gift for capturing elusive arguments in striking phrases. The author scatters his broad learning liberally, and other people's as well. He also provides a vigorous defense for George W. Bush's aggressive foreign policy. But in a debate that has grown dangerously rancorous, his tone is amiable and fair-minded. The book is well worth reading, not least for insight into what the intelligent and civilized American neo-conservative thinks about the world. Taken in the right spirit, it should greatly advance Transatlantic discussion about the world order of the future.

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