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The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era
In this incisive new book, Michael Mandelbaum argues that the era marked by an expansive American foreign policy is coming to an end. During the seven decades from the U.S. entry into World War II in 1941 to the present, economic constraints rarely limited what the United States did in the world. Now that will change. The country's soaring deficits, fueled by the huge cost ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by PublicAffairs
(first published July 14th 2010)
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I thought Mandelbaum's survey of history was fair. However, in the conclusion of the book, he proposes only one plan of action to limit the power of America's greatest enemies in this century, Russia and Iran. He only suggests the US levy high taxes on oil in order to limit use of petroleum consumption, sounding as though that would be our only and best option. I disagree, since raising the price of gasoline would further slow the economy and cost jobs. I was disappointed that the whole book onl ...more
Feb 20, 2011 Frank Kelly rated it really liked it
Mandelbaum offers one of the first robust, in-depth explanations of an enormous national security threat of our own creation: the United States ever expanding federal deficit. His conclusion is both dramatic and frighteningly true: While a good portion of the world may dislike the seemingly all-powerful United States, they will soon come to regret the creation of a weakened United States due to grotesque fiscal profligacy â a nation no longer capable of projecting soft and hard power and effecti ...more
This is an absolutely amazing book about the value of American's foriegn policy and military installations. Any naysayers to America's international role in the world should read this and realize the extent to which our foreign policy initiatives and military installations are helping to keep the peace in many places around the world, Eastern Europe and East Asia for starters. Mandelbaum does an amazing job articulating what must be the foundations of American foreign policy going forward; prude ...more
From the final chapter, 'The Heart of Geopolitics': " The national insistence on keeping gasoline cheap in the United States is the single greatest failure of twenty-first-century American foreign policy. It is not a failure of understanding or foresight. It is a failure of political will... Cheap oil is the twenty-first-century equivalent of the European appeasement of the 1930s."
Sep 06, 2010 Roland Bruno rated it really liked it · review of another edition
If one wants an introduction into American foreign policy and a theorization upon it's future then this is the book that can provide that overview. Our leadership and populace need to be prepared to make sacrifices if they want to make a serious change in the security of not just our country but the entire world. I fear that we lack the courage or character to make those changes.
While a very insightful description of the challenges that will face the US and its place in the international community as it faces greater fiscal restraints, his solutions seem rushed and over-simplified. Clear and easy read, but his proposal keeps me from giving 5/5 stars.