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This latest entry into the post-September 11 publishing frenzy (edited by former Time contributor and deputy secretary of state Talbott and Chanda, his colleague at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization) relies on top-notch academics to probe behind the headlines. While all of the essays taken together provide a primer on some of the most pressing issues that have emerged in the past few months, the strongest pieces provocatively explore new ground. Scientist Maxine Singer underscores the necessity to extend ties and funding between government and researchers, in part to support "off-the-wall" ideas that might help in U.S. domestic defense. Oxford historian Niall Ferguson explores the non-Muslim antecedents of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon; individual elements of the attacks were not new, he argues, only their combination was. Yale professor Paul Kennedy compares the situation currently faced by the United States with Britain's in the 19th century, concluding that the United States is in a more difficult predicament mainly because of the openness of today's world. These essays often explore ground already covered by journalists: the difficulties of maintaining good relations with a Muslim world, in which the United States is unpopular; the diffuseness of the enemy; the need to protect civil liberties while simultaneously protecting American security. But even where the scholars go over familiar turf, they do so in a comprehensive and thoughtful way that is sure to feed some readers' newly whetted appetites for information on the post-post-Cold War world.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The events of September 11 have raised many new and disturbing questions for everyone. These eight essays, written in the first six weeks (up to November 1) after the events, deal with the perceived failure of America's post-Cold War foreign policy, radical Islam, maintaining this country's place in the new hybrid strategic landscape, Arab terrorism, the behavior of earlier empires that faced threats, maintaining the values of America's legal system, new national security questions, and the relationship between science and defense. The contributors, who include former Deputy Secretary of State Talbot, are all academicians (six at Yale) with collectively many years of thought and writing on their respective topics. They have succeeded in expressing that collective wisdom in an accessible style. No reader should expect definitive answers from such an instant book, but this one earns its keep by suggesting possibly relevant comparisons from the past and by contributing to the definition of the right question. For public and academic libraries. Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book of essays was published as a reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Having gotten into print within just a few weeks of the attacks, the essays are as... Read morePublished on June 12 2002 by David E. Levine
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