March Reading Group
by Robert Kagan
Friday, March 19, 2021
7:30 - 9:00 am MST
Online Zoom Meeting
About the Book
The newly elected presidential administration must set a foreign policy path for the next four years. What should it be? What role should America play in the future? Should it be the same as the Post World War II period, the abrupt policy change during the Trump Administration or something totally new and innovative? Should America attempt aggressive leadership or pursue a more passive strategy? We have been taught that early American foreign policy was isolationist and for proof, we are shown George Washington’s Farewell Address, The Monroe Doctrine and its Corollary.
To help formulate a foreign policy for the future, it would be useful to review foreign policy of the past. Historian Robert Kagan in 2002 wrote an unconventional and controversial history of American foreign policy with a unique argument that American foreign policy isolation is a myth and that, according to Kagan’s reviewer “…Americans have been increasing their global power and influence steadily for the past four centuries Even from the time of the Pilgrims. He (Kagan) reveals America is no shining “city upon a hill” but an engine of commercial and territorial expansion that drove native Americans , as well as French, Spanish, Russian and ultimately British power from the North American continent.”
Kagan argues that America was “always internationalist at its core”. From the book, learn why Kagan thinks the Civil War and the abolition of slavery were “decisive turning points in American foreign policy”. Finally, decide if Kagan is correct that from a foreigner’s point of view, America has always been a “dangerous nation”.
The book is in all formats and can be purchased as a used book at a discount.
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