Brzezinski is the Democratic Party’s Henry Kissinger: an elder statesman whose contributions to U.S. foreign policy continue to shape debates even decades after he left government. In this crisp and stimulating book, Brzezinski speculates on the dangers that could result from the decline of the United States and offers his prescriptions to restore American leadership in a changing world. Brzezinski argues against the increasing U.S. tendency to write off Europe and concentrate on Asia. He suggests that creative American statesmanship could bring Russia and Turkey into a revived and rejuvenated West, which might help advance the kind of liberal order the United States seeks. He recommends that U.S. policy toward Asia rest on the advantages of being an offshore, maritime power, and that the main U.S. objective in Asia should be the maintenance of a balance of power, much like British policy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the end, his message is reassuring: American decline is eminently preventable. For the United States, he argues, decline is a choice, not a fate.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.