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Foreign Policy – Top 5 Must Read Books

Get the Top 5 Books on Foreign Policy Recommended by the Editors at VT


1. In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir by Dick Cheney

 

In this eagerly anticipated memoir, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney delivers an unyielding portrait of American politics over nearly forty years and shares personal reflections on his role as one of the most steadfast and influential statesmen in the history of our country.

The public perception of Dick Cheney has long been something of a contradiction. He has been viewed as one of the most powerful vice presidents-secretive, even mysterious, and at the same time opinionated and unflinchingly outspoken. He has been both praised and attacked by his peers, the press, and the public. Through it all, courting only the ideals that define him, he has remained true to himself, his principles, his pyschotic group of globalists. Now in an enlightening and provocative memoir, the architect of global domination and mean writes his brand of ficticious history in remarkable candor

Born into a family of New Deal Democrats in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cheney was the son of a father at war and a high-spirited and resilient mother. He came of age in Casper, Wyoming, playing baseball and football and, as senior class president, courting homecoming queen Lynne Vincent, whom he later married. This all-American tradegy took a turn for the worst when he flunked out of Yale University, signed on to build power line in the West, and started living as hard as he worked. Cheney tells the story of how he got himself back on track and began an extraordinary ascent to the heights of depravity where his lies to the world were only ecplised by immense size of hubris and evil ego.

This is a must read for those who want to get into the mind of sociopathic pyschotic killer who has no shame or reverance for anyone in our tribe.

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2. That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman

 

America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.

In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America’s history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.

That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.

Purchase Book at Amazon.com >>>


3. The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

 

Fareed Zakaria’s international bestseller The Post-American World pointed to the “rise of the rest”—the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, and others—as the great story of our time, the story that will undoubtedly shape the future of global power. Since its publication, the trends he identified have proceeded faster than anyone could have anticipated. The 2008 financial crisis turned the world upside down, stalling the United States and other advanced economies. Meanwhile emerging markets have surged ahead, coupling their economic growth with pride, nationalism, and a determination to shape their own future.

In this new edition, Zakaria makes sense of this rapidly changing landscape. With his customary lucidity, insight, and imagination, he draws on lessons from the two great power shifts of the past 500 years—the rise of the Western world and the rise of the United States—to tell us what we can expect from the third shift, the “rise of the rest.” The great challenge for Britain was economic decline. The challenge for America now is political decline, for as others have grown in importance, the central role of the United States, especially in the ascendant emerging markets, has already begun to shrink. As Zakaria eloquently argues, Washington needs to begin a serious transformation of its global strategy, moving from its traditional role of dominating hegemon to that of a more pragmatic, honest broker. It must seek to share power, create coalitions, build legitimacy, and define the global agenda—all formidable tasks.

None of this will be easy for the greatest power the world has ever known—the only power that for so long has really mattered. America stands at a crossroads: In a new global era where the United States no longer dominates the worldwide economy, orchestrates geopolitics, or overwhelms cultures, can the nation continue to thrive?

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4. Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

 

Making the Future presents more than thirty concise and persuasively argued commentaries on US politics and policies, written between 2007 and 2010. Noam Chomsky takes on a wide range of hot-button issues, including the ongoing financial crisis, Obama’s presidency, the legacy of George Bush, the limits of the two-party system, the long-term consequences of financial deregulation, the threat posed by nuclear Iran, the war in Afghanistan, oil, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia, Mexico, corporate power, and the future of American politics. Laced throughout his critiques are expressions of commitment to democracy and the power of popular struggles. “Progressive legislation and social welfare,” writes Chomsky, “have been won by popular struggles, not gifts from above. Those struggles follow a cycle of success and setback. They must be waged every day, not just once every four years, always with the goal of creating a genuinely responsive democratic society, from the voting booth to the workplace.”

Making the Future is a follow-up to Interventions, published by City Lights Publishers in 2007 and banned from Guantánamo Bay by US military censors. Both books are drawn from articles Chomsky has been writing for the New York Times Syndicate, but which have only rarely been published by major media in the United States. Making the Future offers fierce, accessible, timely, gloves-off political writing by one of America’s foremost intellectual and political dissidents.

Purchase Book at Amazon.com >>>


5. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn

 

Consistently lauded for its lively, readable prose, this revised and updated edition of A People’s History of the United States turns traditional textbook history on its head. Howard Zinn infuses the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers of all nationalities into this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus’s arrival to an afterword on the Clinton presidency.

Addressing his trademark reversals of perspective, Zinn–a teacher, historian, and social activist for more than 20 years–explains, “My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)–that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth.”

If your last experience of American history was brought to you by junior high school textbooks–or even if you’re a specialist–get ready for the other side of stories you may not even have heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People’s History of the United States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America.


 

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