Making the Unipolar Moment
U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order
In the late 1970s, the United States often seemed to be a superpower in decline. Battered by crises and setbacks around the globe, its post–World War II international leadership appeared to be draining steadily away. Yet just over a decade later, by the early 1990s, America's global primacy had been reasserted in dramatic fashion. The Cold War had ended with Washington and its allies triumphant; democracy and free markets were spreading like never before. The United States was now enjoying its "unipolar moment"—an era in which Washington faced no near-term rivals for global power and influence, and one in which the defining feature of international politics was American dominance. How did this remarkable turnaround occur, and what role did U.S. foreign policy play in causing it? In this important book, Hal Brands uses recently declassified archival materials to tell the story of American resurgence.
Brands weaves together the key threads of global change and U.S. policy from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, examining the Cold War struggle with Moscow, the rise of a more integrated and globalized world economy, the rapid advance of human rights and democracy, and the emergence of new global challenges like Islamic extremism and international terrorism. Brands reveals how deep structural changes in the international system interacted with strategies pursued by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush to usher in an era of reinvigorated and in many ways unprecedented American primacy. Making the Unipolar Moment provides an indispensable account of how the post–Cold War order that we still inhabit came to be.
Hal Brands is Associate Professor of Public Policy and History at Duke University. He is the author of What Good is Grand Strategy? Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post–Cold War Order, Latin America's Cold War, and From Berlin to Baghdad: America’s Search for Purpose in the Post–Cold War World, and coeditor of The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft. During 2015–2016, he is also a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow working at the Department of Defense.
What Good Is Grand Strategy?
Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush
Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring and so elusive to those who make American statecraft, exploring what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right.