Robert Zoellick, "America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy" (Twelve, 2020)


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Ranging from Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson to Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan, and James Baker, America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy (Twelve, 2020), tells the delightful story of the history of American diplomacy since 1776.

Recounting in a superb fashion the leading actors and events of U.S. foreign policy, Robert Zoellick, former President of the World Bank, Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy White House chief of Staff, identifies the five traditions that have emerged from America's encounters with the world: the importance of North America; the special roles trading, transnational, and technological relations play in defining ties with others; changing attitudes toward alliances and ways of ordering connections among states; the need for public support, especially through Congress; and the belief that American policy should serve a larger purpose. These traditions frame a closing review of post-Cold War presidencies, which Zoellick foresees serving as guideposts for the future of American diplomacy.

Both a sweeping work of history and an insightful guide to U.S. diplomacy past and present, America in the World serves as an informative companion and practical adviser to readers seeking to understand the strategic and immediate challenges of U.S. foreign policy during an era of transformation and change. All by one of the leading practitioners of American diplomacy of our era. Perfect reading for the lay educated reader who has an interest in either American history or contemporary events.

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.

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