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Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy
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Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
From one of the nation's leading foreign-policy minds comes a provocative new account of how to think about—and use—America's power in the twenty-first century.

Inspired by Machiavelli's classic The Prince, Leslie H. Gelb offers illuminating guidelines on how American power actually works and should be wielded in today's tumultuous world, writing with the perspective of fo
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by Harper (first published 2009)
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Paul Rekaris
Apr 13, 2015 Paul Rekaris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read most of this book in about 45 min and I read it for the primary intent to get into the head of a U.S. planner to help me understand how they see the world. The problem with Gelb's view on the world is that it is extremely arrogant and self serving. Everything is always from the point of view of promoting and protecting U.S. interests. The chapter on advising policy makers on forming alliances with international partners was particularly instructive. I'm paraphrasing but it went something ...more
Kressel Housman
May 21, 2009 Kressel Housman rated it really liked it
Here's another one for the "unfinished" category, or perhaps it fits better under a "Who am I kidding?" category. I heard the author, an expert in global politics who has served under a few presidents and writes for The New York Times, on a radio interview, and he spoke so well, particularly about support of Israel, that I felt I just had to read his book. He wrote it as a sort of open letter to President Obama, advising him on all kinds of foreign policy issues and even some domestic ones.

May 29, 2009 Eric_W marked it as to-read
Quote from Carlos Lozada review:

"Gelb thinks that American leaders have misunderstood American power, which is really about "psychological and political pressure," not just military force. He channels Machiavelli and offers President Obama -- our "elected prince" -- rules for wielding power, as well as tips on Pakistan and Afghanistan. Politicians must avoid the three demons of foreign policy: ideology, domestic politics and the arrogance of power. Finally
Published in 2009 as an open letter to president's and policy-makers/decision-makers, it has some good points to make about American power, foreign policy, etc. Some of Leslie Gelb's critiques of the American political system, partisan politics and an informing media are exactly on point, while the 2011 Arab Spring descent into chaos for Libya, Syria, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the rise of ISIS negate some of the hopefulness of his more moderate proposals.
Hunter Marston
Mar 06, 2014 Hunter Marston rated it really liked it
A must-read for policy makers and foreign policy thinkers alike. Valuable criticism of past Presidents' foreign policy blunders and important lessons for future leaders' foreign policy decision making and global values.
Kia H
May 30, 2009 Kia H rated it really liked it
Shelves: foreign-policy
Pretty good, does a good job of summing up what foreign policy is all about. Rips of both Democrats and Republicans pretty equally but there are some good lessons to take. He really admires the foreign policy strategy of the Truman Administration.
Nov 25, 2009 Ron rated it it was amazing
Independent un-biased account of the history of American foreign and suggestions on how it can be improved.
Great read!
May 06, 2010 Charles rated it liked it
Nothing spectacular, just another good read on foreign policy during the late 20th century.
Nov 25, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Readable and makes a good case for how to repair America's standing in the world.
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