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Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
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Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The biggest threat to the United States comes not from abroad but from within. This is the provocative, timely, and unexpected message of Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass’s Foreign Policy Begins at Home.

A rising China, climate change, terrorism, a nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, and a reckless North Korea all present serious challenges. But U.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Brady Clemens
May 21, 2013 Brady Clemens rated it liked it
I really had higher hopes for this book. I think that his analysis of the current foreign policy situation as well as what we should consider basing our foreign policy on is quite sound. And the factors he identifies as problems at home are important. But his strength is definitely on the foreign policy aspects; when it comes to discussing domestic issues that affect foreign policy Haass is seemingly out of his depth. His opinions on debt and solutions for American educational problems are poorl ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Book rated it it was amazing
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order by Richard N. Haass

“Foreign Policy Begins at Home” is a fantastic, succinct and accessible book on foreign policy. American diplomat and accomplished author Richard N. Haass provides the public with a fair and even-handed book, in this edition he advocates for a new foreign policy of Restoration that argues for less foreign policy and a greater emphasis on domestic investment and policy reform. This insightful 212-page
John Daly
Book 13 of 40 in the 2015 Book Challange

I'm a fan of Morning Joe and I've often often agreed with Richard Hass when he is part of the panel.

This book is an expanded outline of his opinions on the state of American foreign policy.

A strong believer in a strong American presence in the world he makes clear that there is a need for us to improve at home in order to sustain our presence as a world power.

He points out that we need to make strong policy improvements in education, immigration, infrastru
David Cooke
Dec 14, 2013 David Cooke rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
The first third of this book is an excellent primer in foreign policy. It discusses clearly the general state of play and how we arrived at this point. The second third, unfortunately, does rehash a lot of the same ideas of the first-third, but it does so in a prescriptive, forward-looking manner, so it's still of interest. And he discusses the very thesis of the book, which is that the times have changed, and we need to rethink our foreign policy strategy, scaling it back, focusing more on Asia ...more
Ben Jasinski
Oct 06, 2013 Ben Jasinski rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great book, and it gives some really interesting ideas on what is to come for the United States in the ever increasing globalized world. I though the ideas proposed for America and how it can still take a leading roll in the world (basically not losing its global dominance) but refocus on needed areas like latin america and asia are going to be vital to this country in the future. I do how ever disagree with the author on some of the ideas proposed about domestic issues. Num ...more
Feb 03, 2015 ADD rated it liked it
Some political bias is obvious in the author's commentary. While he has some interesting ideas, he mainly explores one side of the issue enough to make the point. I was hoping for a more balanced approach. However, the larger point of putting our fiscal house in order is very real and clear.
Jerry Walz
Sep 07, 2014 Jerry Walz rated it liked it
Good review of foreign policy issues. Recommendations include cutting the debt. Most advocates of cutting the debt seem to not mention that Bush did nothing to pay for his wars. He cut taxes and said we should "go shopping" after 9/11. No sacrifices other than the dead soldiers.
Nov 04, 2013 John rated it it was ok
Frustrating. Ends up being a kind of laundry list of specific policy reforms, capped off with the claim that what is needed to bring them about is "real leadership." Well...yes. We know. Now what? I agree with his assessment of many of the problems, and while I would quibble with some of his proposals for addressing them, in general they are sensible and clearly based on thoughtful and informed analysis (though I do not know that he is saying much that is really NEW, either in identifying the pr ...more
May 17, 2013 Sean rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Though I disagree with some of the minor points, the overarching message of the book urgently needs to enter popular discourse. Haass' recommendations of thoughtful restraint abroad is sound, as is his emphasis on reform at home. My biggest complaint with the book is its sometimes overwhelming vagueness about how the author's ideal policy would differentiate from those of the past few decades. Still, weighing in at a little less than 200 pages, the book is clearly intended to be more easily acce ...more
Dec 22, 2014 James rated it liked it
Makes the case that domestic issues have a sizeable impact on foreign policy.
Christopher Stephens
Jul 18, 2013 Christopher Stephens rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Richard Haass and he has excellent insights on the problems facing America and how to start to turn around and move in the right direction. He also gives great examples of how interfering in foreign affairs, diving in when the situation is not understood at all in Washington, has brought America into many of the rough spots we find ourselves in today. Of course no one man could be expected to have all the solutions, but Haass offers a lot of great advice. Very interesting read, ...more
Matt Connolly
Jun 19, 2013 Matt Connolly rated it it was ok
It's one thing to discuss a new, comprehensive grand strategy ("Restoration") and quite another to prescribe specific policies that need to be implemented. Haass understands the issues facing a Post-Post Cold War world, but because they are so complicated he has had a hard time discussing how to tackle them. Besides, the issues are fairly predictable so it's really nothing new. Maybe a good first-book in a foreign policy course, but not nearly as enlightening as I had hoped. 2 stars.
Nov 30, 2013 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Good summary of inside Washington thinking on foreign policy options. When he turns to the domestic front, becomes more predictably standard issue moderate conservative. The one item not dealt with, one of rising significance is that of the growing distance between rich and poor in the US. Going forward, it is difficult to see how this issue does not affect and constrain US domestic politics as well as the nation's foreign policy.
Aug 10, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
When I have more than, say, a dozen, "yeah, no kidding" moments when reading a book, it's probably too rudimentary for me. I admire Haass (even though he's clearly left of center) -- he's very bright, but this book was written for someone who doesn't follow international politics as closely as I do. There were several tidbits of good information but, overall, just more of the same. Regardless, I'm still glad I read it.
Carol Palmer
Aug 03, 2013 Carol Palmer rated it liked it
Interesting book pointing out that we need to put more money into the United States instead of wars abroad or "nation building". Most of his solutions are sheer common sense like reining in health care costs and the need for updating our infrastructure. The problem is the current lack of common sense in government today that are the result of "safe" Congressional districts and polarizing cable TV news and blogs.
Dec 10, 2013 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While there were quite a few good points made, many of which I support. Like getting addressing entitlement programs, investing in our infrastructure, and dealing with the deficit. However, I did think it was a little thin on policy recommendations to really address these problems. It's a good start to begin thinking about these important issues and their relationship to foreign policy. It just needed more!
Peter Podbielski
Jun 22, 2013 Peter Podbielski rated it really liked it
A Well written primer with think pieces on the current conditions facing the U.S. While offering vectors, Haass leaves the implementation and execution to those interested and with vested interest to keep this country vibrant. The challenge for the casual reader, polcy wonk, appointed and elected officials is whether "we the people" will work towards achieving a common good.
Dec 28, 2013 Gábor rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is very sensible book. To be able to successfully influence the rest of the world, USA has to show an excellent example by putting its own house in order. It is also likely, that no policy maker will be interested in converting these thoughts into action.
Oct 08, 2013 Loren rated it liked it
Although not particularly in-depth (I suppose by design), this book tracks some serious problems in U.S. domestic policy that are severely affecting our ability to project power and authority abroad. It was frustrating to see our countries problems laid bare, without having the ability to fix them.
Thing Two
Aug 17, 2013 Thing Two rated it liked it
Recommended to Thing Two by: Stephen Colbert
I picked up this book after watching Stephen Colbert badger the author, and was anticipating an argument for isolationism from this foreign policy advisor who's worked for four presidents. Instead, I found well supported plan I hope is being considered by our current policy makers in Washington.
May 25, 2013 Shawn rated it liked it
The guy gives good brief; 20 excellent memos. Sad that Haass felt book needed to be written at all. Most of what is recommended therein is blindingly obvious and has been implemented by other advanced industrial countries since the early '90s.
Nick Onopa
Great ideas, and serves more of an introduction than an in depth analysis of US foreign and domestic policy but understand that it is targeted for those "not in the know."
Aug 01, 2013 Luaba rated it really liked it
Shelves: society
An erudite look at American Foreign policy and the change it needs to take in the 21st century. Isolationism is neither an option nor a solution.
Aug 04, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok
A laundry list of things to be fixed at home. Suggestions were not unwise, just a bit...superficially treated.
Nov 07, 2013 Linda marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
for foreign policy class
Jon Elvins
Jon Elvins rated it did not like it
May 26, 2016
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Maxine Jacobson rated it liked it
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Kevan rated it liked it
May 22, 2016
Michael Bish
Michael Bish rated it liked it
May 19, 2016
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