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Capsule Review

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World

In This Review

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World

Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World
By Margaret Thatcher
HarperCollins, 2002, 512 pp. $34.95 Purchase

Reflections on diplomacy and national security by the former British prime minister. The book restates Thatcher's long-held beliefs in a strong military, resolute statecraft, and alliance partnership with America. In her view, the 1990s provide a warning to the United Kingdom and the other Western countries. After winning the Cold War, the democracies let down their guard; they focused on human rights and spent less on defense, let their intelligence-gathering efforts slip, and listened to liberal politicians who believed that globalization would bring global peace. In response, Thatcher urges a return to the exercise of state power in pursuit of the national interest. But her essays are not simple affirmations of realpolitik statecraft. Like Ronald Reagan, Thatcher has a strong moral commitment to democracy, liberty, the rule of law, and other Western ideals; her world view embraces both power politics and democratic community. Indeed, she often sounds like a conservative Wilsonian. She urges her compatriots to stand firm in the defense of British values and interests -- making the case, for example, for why the United Kingdom should reject the euro. But there is also a message to the United States to not "go wobbly" in global leadership and the defense of freedom.

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