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The Idea That Is America : Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World
When Army Captain Ian Fishback decided to blow the whistle on prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, he posed the central question facing America in the new century: "Will we confront danger in order to preserve our ideals, or will courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice?... I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is 'America.'" But what is this idea? George W. Bush waged war in Iraq in the name of American values--liberty and democracy. His critics in the United States and around the world also use the language of values, and attack him for deceiving a nation to wage an unjust war. What are the values that America truly stands for? In The Idea That Is America, a preeminent foreign policy scholar eloquently reminds us of the essential principles on which our nation was established: liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility. Our ongoing struggle to live up to America's great promise matters not only to us, but also to the billions of men and women everywhere who look to the United States to lead, protect, and inspire the world. In The Idea That Is America, Anne-Marie Slaughter shows us the way forward.
"If an American renaissance is to happen, Anne-Marie Slaughter shows, it will be because US leaders and citizens return to the bedrock ideals that fueled the American dream. In this forceful and necessary book, Slaughter elegantly mines pivotal moments in US history for contemporary insight, and she shows that leaders who take heed of law and justice, and who proceed with humility, can leave behind a more peaceful and just America, and a more stable world."--Samantha Power, Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide
"Passionately argued, yet plainly written, The Idea that is America is part credo, part manifesto -- a wholehearted return to first principles by one of America's most talented and distinguished legal minds. Anne-Marie Slaughter's analysis of the U.S. constitution and its legacy encapsulates the liberal interpretation of American history, while her recommendations point the way to a paradigm shift in American foreign policy."--Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University and author of The War of the World and Colossus
"Slaughter's book focuses on an important theme and one close to my heart: the relationship between power and principle. Her arguments, stated with passionate conviction and intellectual clarity, appeal both to my heart and to my reason."--Zbigniew Brzezinski
"Anne-Marie Slaughter has written a book that will educate and inspire all Americans. At a time when many claim that we cannot afford the luxury of our liberties, she explains why America's values remain vital, how they can be preserved and strengthened, and what it means to live by these ideals. This book should be required reading for every citizen."--Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom and editor, Newsweek International
"The Idea That is America is a brilliant book, deeply moving, exquisitely timed, authored by one of our country's leading scholars."--Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State
"Read this book and be challenged to think about, to aspire to, and to work for American values."--George P. Shultz, Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Former Secretary of State
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 13, 2007
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