In This Review

Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977-1981

Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977-1981
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
573 pp, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983
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These important, self-flattering, and occasionally venomous memoirs depict the author's efforts to make President Jimmy Carter, and thus American foreign policy, more assertive toward the Soviet Union. Brzezinski endlessly repeats his admiration for Carter's intelligence, lists his considerable achievements, and yet condemns him for "the absence of historical perspective"-which means his failure to follow Brzezinski's advice more often. Of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance he writes: "As a member of both the legal profession and the once-dominant Wasp elite, he operated according to their values and rules, but those values and rules were of declining relevance not only in terms of domestic American politics but particularly in terms of global conditions." Translation: more power, less principle.