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America's Great-Power Opportunity

America’s Great-Power Opportunity: Revitalizing U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition

By Ali Wyne
Polity, July 2022
224 pages

It has become axiomatic to contend that U.S. foreign policy must adapt to an era of renewed “great-power competition.” The United States went on a quarter-century strategic detour after the Cold War, the argument goes, basking in triumphalism and getting bogged down in the Middle East. Now China and Russia are increasingly challenging its influence and undercutting the order it has led since 1945. How should it respond to these two formidable authoritarian powers?

Ali Wyne offers the first detailed critique of great-power competition as a foreign policy framework, warning that it could render the United States defensive and reactive. He exhorts Washington to find a middle ground between complacence and consternation, selectively contesting Beijing and Moscow but not allowing their decisions to determine its own course.  Wyne explains how the United States can seize the “great-power opportunity” at hand: to manage all three of those phenomena confidently while renewing itself at home and abroad.

“Is ‘great-power competition’ the right framework for U.S. foreign policy? In this timely and important book, Ali Wyne tackles a central question of American grand strategy. Deeply researched and well argued, it shows how the United States can answer this crucial question by investing anew in its own competitive strengths. Anyone interested in America’s role in the world should read this book.”
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean Emeritus of the Harvard Kennedy School and author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump

“Ali Wyne offers an insightful critique of recent efforts to focus U.S. national security strategy around the concept of great-power competition, arguing that with this approach, American strategists risk losing their moorings instead of finding an anchor. His admonitions and recommendations for a more circumspect policy that upholds the United States’ own domestic renewal as a key goal could not be more timely.” Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century

“Ali Wyne takes on the conventional wisdom in Washington, DC that U.S. foreign policy should be defined by great-power competition with Russia and China. After delving in great detail into the strengths and weaknesses of those two major challengers, Wyne argues that instead of letting those two nations determine how the United States shapes its position in the world, America should focus on self-renewal and its own sense of purpose, promoting its best vision of itself to continue leading in the 21st century.”
James Goldgeier, Professor of International Relations and former Dean of the School of International Service at American University

America’s Great-Power Opportunity further establishes Ali Wyne as a leading voice among next-generation foreign policy strategists. He breaks out of Beltway conventional wisdom to, as he says, ‘diagnose America’s competitive predicament and generate fresh prescriptive guidance.’ In both respects it’s an instructive read for scholars and students, with valuable insights and proposals for policymakers.”
Bruce W. Jentleson, William Preston Few Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Duke University

“A welcome, wise, and refreshing caution against a U.S. grand strategy that puts excessive focus on great-power competition. Wyne hits the spot by recommending that Washington prioritize America’s domestic renewal and strengthen the nation’s comparative advantages in a globalized world—while engaging in selective and circumscribed competition with China and Russia. Just the right book for our overheated times.”
Charles A. Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relation

Ali Wyne is a senior analyst at Eurasia Group. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a David Rockefeller fellow with the Trilateral Commission, and a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Quarterly, and National Interest, among other outlets.

Beef, Bible and Bullets

Beef, Bible and Bullets: Brazil in the Age of Bolsonaro

By Richard Lapper
Manchester University Press, August 2021
272 pages
Beef, Bible and Bullets explains the rise to power of a maverick right-wing populist in Latin America’s largest economy. The book describes how the country’s worst ever recession, growing criminal violence and an unparalleled corruption scandal paved the way for the unexpected victory of an extremist political outsider. It also analyses how backing from a rapidly growing coalition of evangelical churches, wealthy agribusiness groups and a powerful security establishment brought to office Brazil’s most conservative government since the 1970s.


One of the Financial Times’ Top 10 Politics Books of 2021
One of the Economist‘s essential books for understanding Latin America

‘So often, there is a lack of context brought to news reporting of today’s Brazil. Lapper masterfully brings us that necessary context, weaving first-hand accounts from primary sources together with a rigorous chronicle of the country’s recent history and politics. — Lucinda Elliott, journalist, The Times

‘Finally, a book that looks beyond easy narratives to explain the real reasons for Jair Bolsonaro’s rise. One of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on Brazil, Richard Lapper shows us not just the postcard image of Rio de Janeiro, but the country of Evangelical megachurches, cattle ranches, walled-off mansions and shopping malls that elected this total outsider. Beef, Bible and Bullets is the best chronicle to date of how the “Trump of the Tropics” came to power.’ — Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly

‘This is the best book in English on the rise to the Brazilian presidency of the volatile and polarising figure of Jair Bolsonaro. It also focuses on the emergence of Bolsonarismo, Brazil’s version of national populism, and the base of support for and changing fortunes of the Bolsonaro administration. — Anthony W. Pereira, Professor, Brazil Institute and Department of International Development, King’s College London


Richard Lapper is a writer and consultant who specializes in Latin America. He worked for the Financial Times for twenty-five years, occupying the post of Latin America editor between 1998 and 2008, and is an Associated Fellow of Chatham House in England.

The Great Experiment

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure

By Yascha Mounk
Penguin Press, April 2022
368 pages
From one of our most important political thinkers, a big-picture vision of the greatest challenge of our time—how to bridge the bitter divides within diverse democracies enough for them to remain stable and functional.
Some democracies are highly homogeneous. Others have long maintained a brutal racial or religious hierarchy, with some groups dominating and exploiting others. Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly. And yet achieving that goal is now central to the democratic project in countries around the world.
It is up to us and the institutions we build whether different groups will come to see each other as enemies or friends, as strangers or compatriots. To make diverse democracies endure, and even thrive, we need to create a world in which our ascriptive identities come to matter less—not because we ignore the injustices that still characterize the United States and so many other countries around the world, but because we have succeeded in addressing them.
“A rare thing: [an] academic treatise . . . that may actually have influence in the arena of practical politics. . . . Passionate and personal.” Joe Klein, New York Times Book Review
“The fundamental argument of The Great Experiment is correct both morally and practically. Building diverse democracies is indeed hard. But, given the current composition of our societies, no alternative exists . . . A coherent and well-written call to arms.”— Martin Wolf, The Financial Times
“In this brave and necessary book, Yascha Mounk honestly confronts the challenges to democracy posed by diverse, multiethnic societies, while at the same time refusing to give in to fashionable pessimism. He argues that we can and should find ways to build common ground, using good-faith patriotism to build consensus. Anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy, in the US or anywhere else, should read this book.” —Anne Applebaum, staff writer for the Atlantic and Senior Fellow, SNF Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University
“Liberal democracies beat authoritarianism in the 20th century, but are growing more unstable in the 21st. In The Great Experiment, Yascha Mounk shows us our history, our psychology, our self-inflicted wounds, and our best hope for creating stable democracies that benefit from diversity. This magnificent book increases our odds of success.” — Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind andprofessor at NYU-Stern School of Business
“There is . . . very much to admire, above all the author’s outspoken and lucid defence of liberal values and his condemnation of those who advocate a politics built on group identities . . . . Mounk offers a coherent and well-written call to arms. His cause is right.” —The Financial Times
Yascha Mounk is a writer and academic known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy. Born in Germany to Polish parents, Mounk received his BA in history from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and his PhD in government from Harvard University. He is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. Mounk is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Danger Zone

Danger Zone: the Coming Conflict with China

By Hal Brands and Michael Beckley
W. W. Norton & Company, August, 2022
304 pages

It has become conventional wisdom that America and China are running a “superpower marathon” that may last a century. Yet Hal Brands and Michael Beckley pose a counterintuitive question: What if the sharpest phase of that competition is more like a decade-long sprint?

The Sino-American contest is driven by clashing geopolitical interests and a stark ideological dispute over whether authoritarianism or democracy will dominate the 21st century. But both history and China’s current trajectory suggest that this rivalry will reach its moment of maximum danger in the 2020s.  America, Brands and Beckley argue, will still need a sustainable approach to winning a protracted global competition. But first, it needs a near-term strategy for navigating the danger zone ahead.


“Unflinching and historically grounded, provocative and richly researched, this refreshing, pioneering work delivers a necessary corrective to narrow thinking and relaxed timelines in dealing with China. Beckley and Brands’ ideas need to be embraced if we are to effectively manage differences emerging in the increasingly volatile relationship between our two nations.”
― General Jim Mattis, U.S. Marines (ret.) and 26th Secretary of Defense
“Russian aggression notwithstanding, China constitutes the most daunting challenge to U.S. national security and the liberal international order. In this brilliant and urgently important book, Hal Brands and Michael Beckley explain why the threat of war with China will likely peak in this decade―when China’s global power and ambition for primacy are swelling just as it faces severe demographic, economic, and political strains on the horizon. Every U.S. foreign policy maker and thinker should read this book and heed their call to rapidly mobilize strategy, strength, and alliances to navigate through this danger zone.”
― Larry Diamond, Mosbacher Senior Fellow in Global Democracy, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
Michael Beckley is associate professor of political science at Tufts University and a non-resident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Hal Brands is the Henry Kissinger Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Age of AI

The Age of AI and Our Human Future

By Henry A Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher
Little, Brown and Company, November 2022 (Paperback)
204 pages

Three of the world’s most accomplished and deep thinkers come together to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the way it is transforming human society—and what this technology means for us all.

An AI learned to win chess by making moves human grand masters had never conceived. Another AI discovered a new antibiotic by analyzing molecular properties human scientists did not understand. Now, AI-powered jets are defeating experienced human pilots in simulated dogfights. AI is coming online in searching, streaming, medicine, education, and many other fields and, in so doing, transforming how humans are experiencing reality.
In The Age of AI, three leading thinkers have come together to consider how AI will change our relationships with knowledge, politics, and the societies in which we live. The Age of AI is an essential roadmap to our present and our future, an era unlike any that has come before.
“Absolutely masterful.”―Fareed Zakaria, CNN/GPS
” A salutary warning to handle this technology with care and build institutions to control it…With his co-authors Mr Kissinger has…used his vast experience and versatile mind to make a muscular contribution to one of the 21st century’s most pressing debates.”―The Economist
“Good reading for those seeking to navigate the alt-reality world.”―Kirkus Reviews
Henry A. Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State from September 1973 until January 1977. He also served as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from January 1969 until November 1975. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Medal of Liberty in 1986. Presently, he is Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.
Eric Schmidt is an accomplished technologist, entrepreneur and philanthropist. As Google’s Chief Executive Officer, he pioneered Google’s transformation from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology. He served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2001-2011, Executive Chairman from 2011-2018 and most recently as Technical Advisor from 2018-2020. Under his leadership Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation. Prior to his career at Google, Eric held leadership roles at Novell and Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Daniel Huttenlocher is the inaugural dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Previously he served as founding Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech, the digital technology oriented graduate school created by Cornell University in New York City. He has a mix of academic and industry experience, as a Computer Science faculty member at Cornell and MIT, researcher and manager at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and CTO of a fintech startup. He currently serves as chair of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation board and as a member of the Corning Inc. and boards.

Cold War Radio

Cold War Radio: The Russian Broadcasts of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

By Mark G. Pomar

Potomac Books, October 2022

344 pages

Cold War Radio is a fascinating look at how the United States waged the Cold War through the international broadcasting of Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
VOA is America’s “national voice,” broadcasting in more than forty languages, and is charged with explaining U.S. government policies and telling America’s story with the aim of gaining the respect and goodwill of its target audience. During the Cold War, the VOA Russian Service broadcast twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
RFE/RL is a private corporation, funded until 1971 by the CIA and afterward through open congressional appropriations. It broadcast in more than twenty languages of Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia and functioned as a “home service” located abroad. Its Russian Service broadcast news, feature programming, and op-eds that would have been part of daily political discourse if Russia had free media.
Pomar takes readers inside the two radio stations to show how the broadcasts were conceived and developed and the impact they had on international broadcasting, U.S.-Soviet relations, Russian political and cultural history, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Pomar provides nuanced analysis of the broadcasts and sheds light on the multifaceted role the radios played during the Cold War, ranging from instruments of U.S. Cold War policy to repositories of independent Russian culture, literature, philosophy, religion, and the arts.
Cold War Radio breaks new ground as Pomar integrates his analysis of Cold War radio programming with the long-term aims of U.S. foreign policy, illuminating the role of radio in the peaceful end of the Cold War.
“This well-researched, well-written book couldn’t be more timely and important. Not only does it show how the wide-ranging, oft-sophisticated programming of these stations played a critical role in undermining the Soviet Union, it also gives a needed appreciation of Russian history and culture. Very crucially, you’ll understand that while Putin’s rise was not inevitable, it did combine very real elements of Russia’s past.”— Steve Forbes, editor of Forbes magazine and former chair of the Board for International Broadcasting
“Mark Pomar is almost unique in his length of service and variety of roles and experiences on the inside of U.S. international broadcasting. He has ‘made the sausage’ and seen it made from many angles. Pomar’s critique of the Soviet system and some aspects of Russian behavior is infused with respect for Russia that reflects a certain optimism that, for all its faults and challenges, Russia is a country with enormous potential for growth and improvement.”—Jeffrey Trimble, former deputy director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and former assistant managing editor and Moscow bureau chief at U.S. News & World Report
“Of all the books that have been written about Cold War broadcasting this trenchant analysis by Mark Pomar of the Russian language programs of Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is the first of its kind. It provides invaluable insights into what actually went on the air. It deftly compares and contrasts the Russian language program content of VOA and RFE/RL and confirms their essential complementary roles in Cold War broadcasting to the USSR.”—R. Eugene Parta, author of Discovering the Hidden Listener: An Assessment of Radio Liberty and Western Broadcasting to the USSR During the Cold War
Mark G. Pomar is a senior fellow at the Clements Center for National Security and an adjunct lecturer in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He is a former assistant director of the Russian Service at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, director of the USSR division at the Voice of America, and executive director of the Board for International Broadcasting, a federal agency. He served as president and CEO of IREX, an organization that administers programs in education, public policy, and media, and was the founding CEO and president of the U.S.-Russia Foundation in Moscow.

The Power of Crisis

The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats – And Our Response – Will Change The World

By Ian Bremmer

Simon and Schuster, May 2022

268 pages
The Power of Crisis draws lessons from global challenges of the past 100 years—including the pandemic—to show how we can respond to three great crises unfolding over the next decade. In coming years, humanity will face viruses deadlier and more infectious than Covid. Intensifying climate change will put tens of millions of refugees in flight and require us to reimagine how we live our daily lives. Most dangerous of all, new technologies will reshape the geopolitical order, disrupting our livelihoods and destabilizing our societies faster than we can grasp and address their implications.
The good news? Some farsighted political leaders, business decision-makers, and individual citizens are already collaborating to tackle all these crises. The question that should keep us awake is whether they will work well and quickly enough to limit the fallout—and, most importantly, whether we can use these crises to innovate our way toward a better world.
“Bremmer’s account is notable for its clear prose and concision…The author’s entirely reasonable solutions involve government action, self-sacrifice, and tolerance of opposing opinions, all of which are in short supply at the moment. An expert analysis.”—Kirkus
“We live in an era of cascading international crises. The Power of Crisis, Ian Bremmer’s provocative and hopeful new book, reveals how and why these global emergencies have opened windows of opportunity that we dare not waste.”—Jane Fraser, CEO, Citi
“Ian Bremmer gives us a lucid and courageous analysis of the dramatic challenges our world is facing. He presents a set of proposals that world leaders should seriously consider.” —António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
“We are living in revolutionary times. Politics, geopolitics, technology, globalization are upending the established order. If you are wondering how to make sense of it all, read this excellent book. Ian Bremmer is always intelligent and perceptive and once again, he delivers!” Fareed Zakaria, Author of Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World
Ian Bremmer is president and founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, a company dedicated to providing intelligent and engaging coverage of international affairs.  He has published ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism which examines the rise of populism across the world, and serves as the foreign affairs columnist and editor at large for Time magazine. He currently teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and previously was a professor at New York University.

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