Clyde Prestowitz, ROGUE NATION

Clyde Prestowitz,  Rogue Nation. American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions (Basic Books, 2003, pp.342) is the paper-back edition of a 2003 book brought up to date as far as the invasion of Iraq,  It has been widely praised. The Economist called it "one of the best books of the year".  The eulogy in the Los Angeles Times gives a thumb nail summary of its thesis: "Prestowitz has done an enormous service by pointing out that the men and women who call themselves conservatives today are truly radicals who have alienated America's friends everywhere". Since a primary aim of WAIS is to study how other people view the world, this book is of immediate interest. It presents an enormous amount of information in a semi-popular way; I think it improper to refer to President Bush as "bubba",   The book is studded with appropriate quotations.  James Warburg of the Council on Foreign Relations said " We are willing to become citizens of the world, but only if the world becomes an extension of the United States".  The author rubs it in when he opens with Webster's definition of  "rogue": "No longer obedient, belonging or accepted, not controllable or answerable,  deviant, having an abnormally savage or unpredictable disposition". Then comes a quotation from Governor John Winthrop: "Consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people upon us".  In other words, the US thinks that it has a special mission which makes it insensitive to the feeling of other nations.  The author started his career i¡n the State Department, then switched to international business.  He is now president of the Econimic Strategy Institute in Washington,;D.C.  He has toured the world, and writes from first-hand knowledge. However, his charge that the US has alienated the world could be made against other countries, such as France.  In no other country do I see such soul-searching as in the US.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: April 16, 2005