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  • © 2022

America in the World from Truman to Biden

Play it Again, Sam

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Offers non-partisan context about the nature of US leadership and its role in the world

  • Reflects on US foreign policy from World War I to the present, including its future trajectory under Biden

  • Highlights international and domestic challenges (and their consequences) of a declining American power

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-81761-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Getting It Done, Half a World, A Free World

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Memories of Leadership

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 3-29
    3. Rising to Primacy

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 31-53
    4. False Starts

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 55-81
  3. Letting Go—A World Undone, A Whole World

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 83-83
    2. A World Unhinged

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 85-126
    3. A World on Edge

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 127-159
    4. Make America Whole Again

      • Simon Serfaty
      Pages 161-173
  4. Back Matter

    Pages 175-180

About this book

Does America still count in the world? Can the world still count on America? In raising such questions halfway into a series of systemic shocks that began in September 2001, Simon Serfaty, a long-time scholar of international politics, reminds Americans that their country’s well-being and that of the world are intertwined. Play it again, Sam: History is in a foul mood again, and this is no time to come home and leave behind an unfinished European Union facing the ghosts of a revanchist Russia still claiming the Old World as its own; a strategic dark hole in the Greater Middle East, on the eve of a global Sarajevo moment; and China’s surging hegemonic power in a continent fraught with too much history and too little geography.

Admittedly, what is good for America may no longer be best for all the West, and what is good for the West may no longer be good for much of the Rest: the unipolar moment is irreversibly over. Yet, writing in an elegant style and with much historical insight, Serfaty argues that even with the old power map irreversibly gone, mainly to the benefit of the non-Western world, a new world order for the twenty-first century will remain dependent on the U.S. role, its capabilities and its efficacy, as well as its leadership and its purpose.

Simon Serfaty is Professor and Eminent Scholar (Emeritus) in International Studies at Old Dominion University (ODU), in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, and the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair (Emeritus) in Global Security and Geostrategy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC., USA. A prolific writer on global foreign and security policy for the past five decades, always close to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic, Serfaty has been a guest speaker in nearly fifty countries. He lives in Washington, DC.

Keywords

  • US foreign policy
  • political leadership
  • US politics
  • cold war
  • Great Powers
  • US in global order
  • US political history
  • security studies

Reviews

“‘Can the world still count on America?’ The question is provocative but Simon Serfaty’s persuasive review of past choices and outcomes — some intended and others not — forcefully counters recurring claims of decline and current calls for retrenchment. You need not agree with all the author’s conclusions to applaud this elegantly written essay and learn from its historical approach to today’s global context and policy dilemmas.” (Stephen J. Hadley, Former U.S. National Security Adviser)

“Reading Serfaty on American foreign policy is seldom less than a heady experience. With his characteristic eloquence and lucidity, Serfaty draws on history and literature to diagnose the ills afflicting America — and offers a potent prescription for recovery that merits the widest possible attention.” (Jacob Heilbrunn, Editor, The National Interest)

“Few people have thought more deeply and written more eloquently about American foreign policy than Simon Serfaty. If you want to know more about the last seventy years – this book is a must-read!” (Wolfram Ischinger, Chairman, Munich Security Conference)

“This lucid and timely book by a wise and seasoned analyst distills the knowledge gained from decades of close observation and study of American presidents and their foreign policies. Spanning the century from Harry S. Truman to Joe Biden, the book mixes keen insights with provocative judgements and at times searing criticism. Overall, it makes a reasoned and compelling – not to mention, heartfelt – case for continued US leadership and engagement in the world.” (John L. Harper, Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins University, USA)

“In Play it Again, Sam, Simon Serfaty builds upon his expertise forged through decades of research on international politics to offer an original perspective on an American-led world order at the crossroads. The book displays a remarkable historical sensitivity in its analysis of presidential leadership and current geopolitical challenges. Sefarty convincingly demonstrates that while the past is not a perfect roadmap for the future, it permeates how we think about the course of U.S. foreign policy.” (Vincent Boucher, Research Fellow, Center on United States Studies, Raoul Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada)

“Serfaty brings to his latest book all his acuity and experience, his feel for America and its place in the world, and his insight into the constant internal struggle between its shifting values, identity and interests. As futile as hope might seem amid "zero polarity" turbulence, Serfaty remains hopeful that America will remain “an exceptional country even when it does exceptionally foolish things”, and that it will continue to rise to the burdens of leadership without which any semblance of world order will disappear”. (Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director and Chief Executive, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, UK)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA

    Simon Serfaty

About the author

Simon Serfaty is Professor and Eminent Scholar (Emeritus) in International Studies at Old Dominion University (ODU), in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., and the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair (Emeritus) in Global Security and Geostrategy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC., U.S. A prolific writer on global foreign and security policy for the past five decades, always close to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic, Serfaty has been a guest speaker in nearly fifty countries. He lives in Washington, DC.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-81761-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)