Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, Melvyn P. Leffler
This collection of essays, including the eminent diplomatic historian Melvyn P. Leffler's first in 1972 up to his contemporary scholarship, is a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Covering everything from the Herbert Hoover administration to the post–September 11 world, Leffler traces the interplay between the forces and impulses of capitalism and democracy through U.S. foreign policy. Typical of Leffler's work, these essays are deeply researched, engagingly written, understanding of the complexity facing the policymakers of the past (that is to say, empathetic), and contemporarily relevant. This is a scholar who recognizes—and embraces—the idea that good history can be of enormous use to policy today, and we are the richer for it as readers.
In Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism, Leffler identifies four key drivers of U.S. foreign policy: an ideologically motivated desire in Washington to promote free trade and free societies, or, in other words, the “democratic capitalism” of the book's title; the impact of personality and perception on the making of foreign policy, in particular U.S. policymakers’ propensity for panic; the importance of international economics and not just politics; and the inextricably intertwined nature of foreign and domestic policy. Together, they constitute the “amorph
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