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BOOKS

The Silence of the Rational Center

This book analyses the process by which US foreign policy is made and asks why it has been ineffective in recent years.

Subtitle: Why US Foreign Policy is Failing
Publisher: Basic Books
Date: February 2007
Page Count: 320

What has happened to American foreign policy? Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke argue that the members of what used to be called the foreign policy establishment are no longer doing the job of keeping our foreign policy informed and rational. Instead, hungry to coin the next Big Idea, they are in the business of advancing simplistic, glib mythologies. The result is that Americans are often presented with a fantasy world of nightmare scenarios rather than with explanations that lead to rational choices. Taking to task such well-known figures as Samuel Huntington, Noam Chomsky, and Jeffrey Sachs, Halper and Clarke argue for a revival of integrity within our foreign policy elite so that America’s standing in the world can be restored. A book that pulls no punches, The Silence of the Rational Center is both a penetrating diagnosis and a stirring call to reform in what is possibly the most important area of American political life.

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