The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich
Recommended by Lucas Thoma
Library Technician, Encinitas Branch
In his 2008 book, Boston University professor and retired US Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich persuasively argues that the United States has exceeded the limits of its (considerable) power and that a refocused and Realist foreign policy is needed. In simple and succinct prose, Bacevich offers a withering criticism of more than a half century of US foreign policy that has substituted ideology for interests. His indictments extends not only to those “wise men” in charge of policy and the senior military leadership who execute it, but to “we the people” as a whole. Society has internalized the notion that hard power (AKA military intervention) is the solution to all international incidents. Bacevich illustrates how this is a flawed and dangerously naïve view of foreign policy and international affairs. Ultimately, he argues for a more sensible foreign policy based on realism and recognition of our interests.