Shane's Reviews > Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power

Running the World by David Rothkopf
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Feb 07, 10

Read in February, 2010

Despite the (for me) relatively low rating I gave it, I enjoyed this book. If you have a low to moderate-level interest in the subject matter, you can learn a lot from reading Running the World .

I particularly like how the author strives very hard to avoid naked partisanship. As he summarizes the NSC from one administration to the next, he largely avoids editorializing or unfounded opinions. The author worked in the Clinton administration, but his only strong bias, or perhaps simply admiration, as expressed in the book is a great liking of the mechanism and process followed by the first Bush administration in national security affairs.

One of my issues with the book is that it is part analysis, part history, and they don't blend completely successfully in this instance. Also, every few chapters there is a brief explanation of the author's first-hand experience with a person, process or event that doesn't seem to me to blend particularly well with the rest of the material.

My favorite chapter in the book was actually the last, which talks about the present state of affairs in national security and makes some arguments for what may come next. In hindsight, a book that covers this chapter may have been more what I was looking for when I picked this one up.
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