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Publisher's Summary

"Speak softly and carry a big stick", Theodore Roosevelt famously said in 1901 when the United States was emerging as a great power. It was the right sentiment, perhaps, in an age of imperial rivalry. But today many Americans doubt the utility of their global military presence, thinking it outdated, unnecessary, or even dangerous.

In The Big Stick, Eliot A. Cohen - a scholar and practitioner of international relations - disagrees. He argues that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy. While acknowledging that the United States must be careful about why, when, and how it uses force, he insists that its international role is as critical as ever, and armed force is vital to that role. Cohen explains that American leaders must learn to use hard power in new ways and for new circumstances. The rise of a well-armed China, Russia's conquest of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran, and the spread of radical Islamist movements like ISIS are some of the key threats to global peace. If the United States relinquishes its position as a strong but prudent military power and fails to accept its role as the guardian of a stable world order, we run the risk of unleashing disorder, violence, and tyranny on a scale not seen since the 1930s. The United States is still, as Madeleine Albright once dubbed it, "the indispensable nation".

©2016 Eliot A. Cohen (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

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Turn off the news, listen to this

This audio book is excellent for anyone who wants a thorough discussion of the problems that the United States faces and their potential solutions. The only reason that I gave it four stars is because the person reading the story had a raspy voice that was sometimes unpleasant to listen to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Clayton
  • WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States
  • 09-17-17

extremely interesting

well conceived, well argued, well written and fundamentally easy to understand, even if you do not agree with all it's conclusions

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poignant analysis

the author looks at the multitude of factors going into the use if force to achieve national end states. It's not sensational or all that controversial in my opinion. a good read to give you something to Chew on.