What would the world look like if America were to reduce its role as a global leader in order to focus all its energies on solving its problems at home? And is America really in decline? Robert Kagan, New York Times best-selling author and one of the country’s most influential strategic thinkers, paints a vivid, alarming picture of what the world might look like if the United States were truly to let its influence wane.
Although Kagan asserts that much of the current pessimism is misplaced, he warns that if America were indeed to commit “preemptive superpower suicide,” the world would see the return of war among rising nations as they jostle for power; the retreat of democracy around the world as Vladimir Putin’s Russia and authoritarian China acquire more clout; and the weakening of the global free-market economy, which the United States created and has supported for more than sixty years. We’ve seen this before—in the breakdown of the Roman Empire and the collapse of the European order in World War I.
Potent, incisive, and engaging, The World America Made is a reminder that the American world order is worth preserving, and America dare not decline.
About the Author
Robert A. Kagan is professor of political science and law at the University of California at Berkeley, and director of Berkeley's Center for the Study of Law and Society. His publications include Regulatory Justice, Going by the Book: The Problem of Regulatory Unreasonableness (with Eugene Bardach), and Regulatory Encounters.
"The book makes the case that the nation’s decline is a myth, a reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 rather than to any genuine geopolitical shifts." —The New York Times
"These ideas struck a chord with a President accused of leading a great American retreat."
—Michael Crowley, Time
"Kagan paints with a broad brush, sprinkling a memorable metaphor here, a striking simile there . . . He provides a compelling demonstration that whether it's protecting the sea lanes vital for free trade or nudging societies toward democracy, the world stands a better chance with America in prime position than with China or Russia in the lead." —The New York Times Book Review
"[Marco] Rubio's foreign-policy views have evidently been recently shaped by a reading of Robert Kagan's The World America Made, a much-discussed refutation of the now-popular notion of American decline. As a Romney advisor who has penned bedside reading for President Barack Obama, Kagan could plausibly claim to be the most prominently cited writer in Washington right now." —Foreign Policy Magazine
"Intelligent, cogent, and timely." —Publishers Weekly
"At once a robust defence of the role America plays in world affairs and a determined rejection of the 'myth' that America is in decline." —Financial Times
"Serious, scholarly . . . [These are] ideas expressed clearly and consicely." —David Ignatius, Washington Post Writers Group
"An extended and convincing argument against the thesis that there is anything inevitable about American decline." — Max Boot, Commentary
"The foreign policy blueprint for the next Republican president." —Senator Marco Rubio
"Kagan grabs the reader’s attention from page one . . . He makes a powerful point: If America were to make a serious effort to disengage in world affairs, the world quickly would devolve into a much more scary and dangerous place . . . If you have time to read just one book, I suggest Kagan’s." —Major General Perry Smith
"Magisterial . . . It's a small book, it's a great book." —Bill Bennett
"Very important . . . A wonderful book." —Hugh Hewitt
"A must-read." —Lou Dobbs