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The Empty Throne: America's Abdication of Global Leadership

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  14 reviews
American diplomacy is in shambles, but beneath the daily chaos is an erosion of the postwar order that is even more dangerous.
America emerged from the catastrophe of World War II convinced that global engagement and leadership were essential to prevent another global conflict and further economic devastation. That choice was not inevitable, but its success proved monumenta
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by PublicAffairs (first published October 2018)
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David Wineberg
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world is much less safe and far more uncertain, because the world’s premiere power has abandoned its position. That is basis of The Empty Throne, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay’s new book. It is a stomach-churning recounting of all the many instances where Donald Trump ignored protocol, betrayed America’s’ friends, sidled up to authoritarians, destroyed relationships, and undermined the rule of law. The book is focused purely on the foreign policy aspects of the Administration after less than ...more
Stephan Renkens
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Born in 1961, I'm a child of the cold war. The iron curtain was one of the landmarks of my political growing up. Another certainty was Western Europe's ties to the United States, with NATO as the ultimate insurance. Sometimes I heard fellow European citizens declaring themselves "anti-American". These were scarce voices amidst a sea of conviction that the alliance with the US was highly beneficial for not only the US, but their allies as well.

The political events in the US (and the UK) of 2016 h
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book speaks to the fact that the entire post-WWII rule set is in jeopardy, then asks who benefits from attacking it. The US—and for most of us this is common sense—does not. We had a golden opportunity, shortly after Hitler killed himself and the Enola Gay made its most famous flight, to pull back from the isolationism and “Lord of the Flies”-type foreign policy that precipitated the World Wars and the Great Depression. As refugees criss-crossed the wasted European landscape trying to get ho ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reviews
In The Empty Throne, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay highlight Trump's foreign policy successes while not pulling punches about his failures. Daalder and Lindsay present the US's foreign policy as a historical continuity from President Wilson and the League of Nations to Truman and the Marshall Plan to Bush's unilateral aggression to Obama's leading from behind to Trump's nationalism. This even-handed look at the current administration is fascinating, fair, and balanced. Written in a scholarly, de ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good synopsis of how Trump has abdicated US leadership in confronting host of global issues.
Lianne Burwell
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the last couple of years, I've tortured myself with books about politics. Tortured through either books that look at things done well in the past, or looking at the current US president and the things he is doing completely wrong.

The Empty Throne looks at foreign policy and the ways that Trump (and previous presidents to a lesser extent) have failed in that foreign policy. The Next Decade, by George Friedman, which I am just finishing, also looks at foreign policy and suggest goals for the up
George Odera
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book can be described as a journal of events surrounding the Trump foreign policy. Easy to rid if you're solicitous on modern geopolitics. The slight blemish to the book, I need to say, is that it proceeds in the premise that global leadership will, as a plenary, always serve American interests. In the last chapter, the books picks an alarmist tone, whose justification or lack of it thereof, only time will tell. Overall, an informative book. ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the author on the show GPS recently and found his comments compelling. An excellent analysis of the current administration’s grossly over simplistic and destructive foreign policy. What I am left wondering is whether or not this country can reclaim our leadership role in the world. We are capable of accomplishing great things but are those opportunities forever lost?
Liam Owen
Written by Obama era advisors, the book obviously has a stance that may or may not be backed up in fact, but the writing is compelling and the book is fairly easy to read. Chapter 9 is particularly good
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Empty Throne is a well-articulated and digestible summary of foreign policy (or lack thereof) in the Trump era, but as a regular listener to Jim Lindsay's work on The President's Inbox and The World Next Week, I didn't find the book offered many new or original insights. ...more
Susan Arra
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very clear and happy 2020 election results will turn the US back on course!
Though not much of the information itself was new to me, it was good to see it put together and realize the major consequences of Trumps foreign policy.
Jason Baker
A great summation of the state of American global leadership. More “what has been done” than policy prescription. While I appreciate the historical and normative context the authors put it in, I would have liked to read more discussion on remedying the situation.
Observations aren’t particularly new or more worthy for someone who follows American foreign policy closely, but enjoyed the writing style and easy to read
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Ivo Daalder served on the national security council staff in the Clinton administration and is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His most recent book, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (with James M. Lindsay) won the 2003 Lionel Gelber Prize.

Daalder was educated at the University of Kent, Oxford University, and Georgetown University, and received his Ph.D. in p

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