In This Review

The Real and the Ideal
The Real and the Ideal
Edited by Anthony Lake and David A. Ochmanek
Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, 320 pp

These spirited essays pay homage to a distinguished scholar of diplomacy, Richard Ullman. His writings are a tour de force of the Anglo-American foreign policy tradition, illuminating the dilemmas of practicing statecraft while respecting ideals. A deep intellectual skepticism, united with a humane vision of world politics, has given Ullman an often contrarian voice. Several essays explore the complexities of humanitarian intervention, showing the centrality of liberal values to understanding the U.S. national interest as well as the limits on the use of force. An intriguing piece by Robert Sprinkle traces realist and patriarchal defenses of state authority and their increasing tenuousness in an era of liberal internationalism. Edward Rhodes provocatively reconsiders the American diplomacy of "liberal isolationism" in the 1920s and argues that it remains an undercurrent today, while Ronald Krebs disputes the conventional view that alliances reinforce cooperation and collective identity among members. One theme that emerges is that idealism and the pursuit of power in American foreign policy are more tightly interwoven than the liberal or realist traditions fully appreciate. The Prince is most powerful when he is guided by a sensible set of ideals.