The Peace Of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 To The Present by Christopher LayneThe Peace Of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 To The Present by Christopher Layne

The Peace Of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 To The Present

byChristopher Layne

Paperback | November 1, 2007

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In a provocative book about American hegemony, Christopher Layne outlines his belief that U.S. foreign policy has been consistent in its aims for more than sixty years and that the current Bush administration clings to mid-twentieth-century tactics—to no good effect. What should the nation's grand strategy look like for the next several decades? The end of the cold war profoundly and permanently altered the international landscape, yet we have seen no parallel change in the aims and shape of U.S. foreign policy. The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance. Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history.
Title:The Peace Of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 To The PresentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.2 inPublished:November 1, 2007Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801474116

ISBN - 13:9780801474118

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Table of Contents


1. Theory, History, and U.S. Grand Strategy

2. World War II and the Foundations of American Global Hegemony

3. U.S. Grand Strategy and the Soviet Union, 1945-1953

4. The Open Door and American Hegemony in Western Europe

5. The Containment of Europe: American Hegemony and European Responses

6. Liberal Ideology and U.S. Grand Strategy

7. The End of the Unipolar Era

8. The Strategy of Offshore Balancing




Editorial Reviews

"Anyone who believes U.S. foreign policy has been mainly defensive since World War II, or thinks that this policy became transformed after the 9/11 attacks, should read this superb analysis of the Bush administration's diplomacy, the central roots of which run back nearly a century to Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. With a sure grasp of both the historical facts and the theories that have driven the U.S. quest for global hegemony, Christopher Layne has made a masterful contribution to the intensifying post-Iraq-invasion debate over the course Americans are taking in their foreign policies."—Walter LaFeber, Tisch University Professor, Cornell University