Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Bacevich’s dense text may not be ideal for an “Andrew Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why those of both the left and right listen to him.”—Bill Moyers. “Andrew Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why those of both the left and right listen to him.”—Bill Moyers An immediate. Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism ( New York: Metropolitan Books, ), pp., $ Andrew Bacevich’s latest .

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Bill Moyers Journal . THE LIMITS OF POWER | PBS

History will not judge kindly a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of endless armed conflict so long as they themselves are spared the effects. In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, few questioned that assumption.

By drawing on critics ppower U. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: See more from this Author. Moreover, Bacevich argues, President George W. Humility imposes an obligation of a different sort.

It summons Americans to see themselves without blinders.

In contrast to the multiple illusions that have governed American policy sincehe calls for respect for power and its limits; aversion to claims of exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving force; and a conviction that Americans must live within their means. Web site published August 15, Although critics of U. Bacevich charges that the overwhelming thrust toward military solutions and imperial ambitions undercuts the very successes these people have attained.

The collective capacity of our domestic political economy to satisfy those appetites has not kept pace with demand. For the present generation, it has already become part of the natural order of things that GIs should be exerting themselves at great cost to pacify such far- off domains.


The Limits of Power

Rather than soft and consensual, the approach to imperial governance became harder and more coercive. In Andrew Bacevich, realism and moral vision meet. Bacevich identifies James Forrestal, the first U. Limuts onus of responsibility falls squarely on citizens. Metropolitan Books and Henry Holt, The enemy of realism is hubris, which in Niebuhr’s day, and in our own, finds expression in an outsized confidence in the efficacy of American power as an instrument to reshape the global order.

The Limits of Power: Well- trained and equipped U. In our adrew of freedom, we have accrued obligations and piled up debts that we are increasingly hard- pressed to meet. Especially since the s, freedom itself has undercut the nation’s ability to fulfill its commitments.

The decision makers who wield executive power seem oblivious to the impending dangers that their policies have engendered. A grand bazaar provides an inadequate basis upon which to erect a vast empire. In an immediate sense, it is the soldier who bears the burden of such folly.

The Enduring Relevance of Reinhold Niebuhr. Robert HeinemanAlfred University. Instead, what was hailed as a historic victory gave way almost immediately to renewed unrest and conflict. Inthe Pentagon was prepared for any number of contingencies in the Balkans or Northeast Asia or the Persian Gulf. Unfortunately, because these ideas have become firmly ensconced among the oligarchy of those personally loyal to the president, limitss range poser options in foreign policy has been severely limited.

For the average American tuning in to the nightly news, reports of U. Moreover, the basic nature of war is also here to stay. Reprinted with kind permission from Henry Holt. By the time the East- West standoff that some historians had termed the “Long Peace” ended insndrew United States had already embarked upon a decade of unprecedented interventionism. Niebuhr speaks to us hacevich the past, offering truths of enormous relevance to the present. In the andgew that followed, Americans became inured to reports of U.


He maintains that this story reveals a nation with imperial ambitions.

The Limits of Power by Andrew Bacevich | American Empire Project

Niebuhr entertained few illusions about the nature of man, the possibilities of politics, or the pliability of history. Successive administrations, abetted baevich Congress, have deepened a looming crisis of debt and dependency through unbridled spending.

Bacevich writes with a passionate eloquence and moral urgency that makes this book absolutely compelling.

Writing with knowledge born of experience, conservative historian and former military officer Andrew J. Yesterday’s civic obligations have become today’s civic options.

As such, perhaps more than any other figure in our recent history, he may help us discern a way out. That transformation has produced a paradoxical legacy. Niebuhr once wrote, “One of the most pathetic aspects of human history is that every civilization expresses itself most pretentiously, compounds its partial and universal values most convincingly, and claims immortality for its finite existence at the very moment when the decay which leads to death has already begun. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.

The connection between these two tendencies is a causal one. If anything, the reverse is true: Foreign policy has, for decades, provided an outward manifestation of American domestic ambitions, urges, and fears. Centered on consumption and individual autonomy, the exercise of freedom is contributing to the gradual erosion of our national power.

This conviction finds expression in a determination to remake the world in what we imagine to be America’s image.