White House Books & Reviews

The Beginning of Economic Wisdom

Two primers on economics reveal a lingering philosophical divide in the intellectual imagination of our time.

Imperialism: the Highest Stage of American Capitalism?

Andrew Bacevich's American Empire is really two books in one: one quite good, the other quite inexplicable.

Power Steering

Two optimistic portrayals of the international future--by political scientists Joseph Nye and Michael Mandelbaum--go under a historian's scalpel.

Fighting Men

Eliot Cohen's look at the greatest democratic statesman of recent centuries affirms Clemenceau's quip that war is too important to be left to the generals--even American generals.

Money and Power: Pondering Economic Growth and Decline

A trio of books proposes intriguing reasons for economic growth--national pride, surplus labor and investment security--but none parses the novelty of the virtual state.

Kaplan's War

Robert Kaplan advocates a pagan ethos for American statesmen in the 21st century, but not all pagans think alike.

The Best Defense

Can John Mearsheimer's analysis of "offensive realism" explain or guide U.S. foreign policy? Better, perhaps, than the author realizes.

The Four Schoolmasters

Walter Russell Mead's new book deploys the ideas and heirs of Hamilton, Wilson, Jefferson and Jackson to illuminate the future of U.S. foreign policy.

Ukraine, Unexpected

Ukraine's political demagogues are squandering its benign strategic circumstances. They are doing neither well nor good for their unexpected country.

Pushing Restraint

A sweeping institutional history of pst-war settlements leaves something to be desired, namely, more history.

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April 16, 2014