The essays in this book are a sensible antidote to the apocalyptic literature coming from academics and foreign policy professionals recently in trying to characterize the post-Cold War order. Mueller is guardedly optimistic about the world, given the much lower likelihood of major war, and notes that the pessimists have arrived at their conclusions by romanticizing the stability of the Cold War, overemphasizing Europe at the expense of other parts of the world, or raising the standards for world order so high as to be unattainable in this or any other age. Other essays argue against structural realist interpretations of the Cold War in favor of the importance of ideas, revisit the author's earlier views on the obsolescence of war, and look at the relationship of democracy and peace.
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